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Henry Birchenougli ....... 20 

How JAPAN REFORMED HERSELF. By 0. Eltzbacher . . .28 

THE WOMEN OF KOREA. By Lieut. -Colonel G. J. B. Gliinicke . . 42 


the Bev. Ethelred L. Taunton . . . . .46 

TRAMPS AND WANDERERS. By Mrs. Hlggs . . .55 


Latlibury ...... .67 


Bishop Welldon ....... 75 

THE VIRGIN-BIRTH. By Blade Butler . . . . .84 

INVISIBLE RADIATIONS. By Antonia Zimmern . . . .88 

MEDICATED AIR : A SUGGESTION. By Dr. William Eivart . . 97 


THE CAPTURE OF LHASA IN 1710. By Demetrius C. Boulger . . 113 

ISCHIA IN JUNE. By Adeline Paulina Irby .... 119 


Lady Currie . . . . . . . * . 126 


Macdonell 142 


(1) By Sir Wemyss Beid . , . 152, 319, 499, 686, 855, 1033 

(2) By Edward Dicey ..... 163, 330, 510 

(3) By Walter Frewen Lord . . . . 867, 1044 

Satyematsu ........ 173 

OUR BI-CENTENARY ON THE ROCK. By Bonald McNeill . . . 181 

BRITISH SHIPPING AND FISCAL REFORM. By the Marquis of Graham . 189 



THE HARVEST OF THE HEDGEROWS. By Walter Baymond . . 227 

THE UNIONIST FREE TRADERS. By J. St. Loe Strachey . . . 236 

THE POPE AND CHURCH Music A REJOINDER. By Bichard Bagot . 247 

To EXPLORE ARABIA BY BALLOON. By the Bev. John M. Bacon . . 251 

Hon. Sir Henry Drummond-Wolff . .... 262 

PEPYS AND MERCER. By Norman Pearson .... 269 

SOME INDIAN PORTRAITS. By the late Sir William Battigan . . 286 
WHAT is THE USE OF GOLD DISCOVERIES ? By the Bight Hon. Leonard 

Courtney ........ 299 


Macnamara ........ 307 

GIFTS. By C. E. WJieeler ....... 312 


Suyematsu ....... 341, 521 





Charles Eliot ....... 370 


Welldon 402 


THE AMERICAN WOMAN AN ANALYSIS. By H. B. Marriott-Watson . 433 

MY FRIEND THE FELLAH. By Sir Walter Mieville . . . 443 

COLLEY GIBBER'S ' APOLOGY.' By H. B. Irving .... 451 

Cross ......... 469 


Mann ......... 475 

A CHAPTER ON OPALS. By H. Kershaw Walker .... 492 

ROME OR THE EEFORMATioN. By the Lady Wimborne . . . 543 


Morley ........ 571 


Lord Brassey ....... 


By the Lady Currie . . . . . . . .022 


EXPERIENCE. By Wilfrid Scawen Blunt . . . . 643 

THE LAND OF JARGON. By Helena Frank ..... 652 


THE NEXT LIBERAL MINISTRY. By Henry W. Lucy . . . 675 

PROPOSED CONFERENCE. By Sir John Macdonell . . . 697 

ENGLAND, GERMANY, AND AUSTRIA. By Sir Rotuland Blennerhassett . 707 


Whitworth ....... \ 737 


Maynard Smith ....... 746 


THE LITERATURE OF FINLAND. By Hermione Ramsden . . . 772 

TABLE-TALK. By Mrs. Frederic Harrison .... 790 


Sir Herbert Maxioell . . . . . . 796 

JAPANESE EMIGRANTS. By Wilson Crewdson .... 813 

WOMAN IN CHINESE LITERATURE. By Herbert A. Giles . . . 820 

Foxcroft ........ 833 

THE RUSSIAN SOLDIER. By Carl Joubert ..... 842 


BULOW, GERMAN CHANCELLOR. By J. L. Bashford . . _J373 


WHAT THE FRENCH DOCTORS SAW. By Lady Priestley . . . 892 

Mallock . . . . . . . 905 

HYMNS ' ANCIENT ' AND ' MODERN.' By the Countess of Jersey . . 925 

THE CENSUS OF INDIA. By J. D. Rees . . . . . 938 

THE DECLINE OF THE SALON. By Miss Rose M. Bradley . . 950 

HARA-KIRI : ITS REAL SIGNIFICANCE. By Baron Suyematsu . . 960 

THE CORELESS APPLE. By Sampson Morgan .... 966 


Collins ...... . 970 

PALMISTRY IN CHINA. By Herbert A. Giles .... 985 

QUEEN CHRISTINA'S PICTURES. By His Excellency the Stvedish Minister 989 

ONE LESSON FROM THE BECK CASE. By Sir Robert Anderson . . 1004 

THE GERMAN NAVY LEAGUE. By Dr. Louis Elkind . . 1012 

THE RE -FLOW FROM TOWN TO COUNTRY. By Sir Robert Hunter . 323 







THE eight signatories of the Majority Report of the Royal Commis- 
sion on the Militia and Volunteers have no reason to be dissatisfied 
with the reception of their Report by the public, presuming, of course, 
that the utterances of the Press may be taken as indicative thereof. 
The record of their work is in four Blue-books. The first gives, in 
seventy-eight pages, the two Royal Warrants creating the Com- 
mission, the Majority Report (with two schedules), a short memo- 
randum by Lord Grenfell, a long memorandum of twenty-six pages 
by Colonel O'Callaghan-Westropp, two minority reports contributed 
by three of the Commissioners, and two short appendices. The 
second and third books give the minutes of evidence, which com- 
prise no fewer than 24,150 questions and answers ; the fourth gives 
275 pages of close reading in the form -of appendices. In these appen- 
dices are not only returns showing numbers, cost, &c., but among 
them is a huge amount of evidence given in writing by societies 
existing among the Auxiliary Forces ; by witnesses who had appeared 
befo^ Jommission, and who desired to amplify their verbal 

evidence ; and, finally, a summary of answers to a circular of questions 
VOL. LVI No. 329 B 


sent to the commanding officer of each Militia and Volunteer unit. 
It is practically a third volume of evidence. And within forty-eight 
hours the verdict is pronounced, and it is almost, but not quite, 
unanimously one of condemnation. 

But the jury were only human beings ; and, therefore, real judicial 
consideration of the evidence on which the Report is based was 
obviously out of the question in this short time ; so it necessarily 
follows that the adverse judgment must have been arrived at on some 
grounds quite different from the evidence on which the Commissioners 
formed their opinions. And with the condemnation came an amount 
of ' drubbing ' the Commissioners that reminds me of the old advice : 
* If you have a bad case, don't reply to your opponent's arguments, 
but abuse him.' 

A few specimens, taken from some of the London daily papers, 
and all written, be it remembered, almost immediately after the 
four volumes came into the hands of the respective writers, and 
before there was time to do more than give the very hastiest .glance 
over this enormous mass of evidence, are illustrative of the spirit of 
this condemnation. ' A more inadequate document of its kind has 
rarely been published.' ' Its [the Commission's] head was turned 
from the beginning by the spectacle of a Cabinet bowing before 
Lord Esher's triumvirate.' * The Report reads like the crudest 
production of the most sensational journalist of the Jingo school.' 
The Report is an ' impudent document,' and the Commissioners 
were guilty of a ' sublime piece of audacity.' The Commissioners 
' did not know very clearly what they were about.' The Com- 
mission was not ' very strongly constituted,' and when, a week 
later, Mr. Arnold-Forster stated in the House of Commons that the 
Government did not intend to endorse the recommendation of the 
Commission so far as adopting conscription, we read of the ' absurd 
conscription scheme ' a Commission of ' military officers and theo- 
risers.' ' To say that it [the Report] has fallen flat would be to put 
the case very mildly. As a matter of fact, it has met with con- 
temptuous and almost unqualified condemnation.' Evidently it is on 
some very tender toe that the Commission has trodden ; and to the 
injured toe a clue is found in the allegation that the Commission has 
acted ultra vires, and has inquired into and reported on matters not 
included in the terms of reference. And we run the quarry to ground 
in the first paragraph of the leading article of the Times, which paper, 
with one or two others, has kept aloof from the shouting crowd. 
' The Report of the Royal Commission on the Militia and Volunteers, 
whatever may be thought of its specific proposals, is bound to derive 
an historical importance from the fact that it is the first official docu- 
ment of the kind to enunciate and endorse the principle of compulsory 
military service.' 

Yes, it is the recommendation of the adoption of the principle 


that it is the bounden duty of every able-bodied male adult to 
take part efficiently, if called on to do so, in the defence of hearths 
and homes, that has aroused this outburst of anger and abuse ; and 
the wrath exhibited is sure to be intensified by the cool, merciless, 
unemotional, and logical process adopted by the Commission in 
layirg bare and open to the public gaze the actual and pitiable situa- 
tion in which we stand as regards the defence of our homes at the 
present time. 

And even if this charge, ultra vires, were maintainable, as I hold 
it is not, surely the Commission deserves gratitude, not condem- 
nation, for telling us what it believes to be the plain truth, and 
for endeavouring to awaken the country to the fact that we are, 
as regards defence of our homes, living in a fools' paradise. If the 
Commissioners are wrong, and our paradise is one not for fools only, 
surely it will not be a very difficult task for some of their opponents 
to explain to us the errors and fallacies underlying the assertions of 
the Commissioners. But, before doing this, there is some work for 
them ; they will have to go carefully through the evidence on which 
the conclusions that irritate them are based, and they will have to 
produce in support of their case evidence as worthy of respect as 
that given by the competent witnesses called before the Commis- 
sion. The opinions formed by the Commissioners are not mere 
theoretical fancies of their own ; they are derived from the evidence 
brought before them, and which they have considered judicially. It 
is regrettable that a very high-class London paper should write of the 
Commissioners : ' Unfortunately, they were too much enamoured of 
their hobby to make any serious contributions towards the solution 
of the problem presented to them .... the Government have lost 
no time in declaring that they will have nothing to do with the scheme. 
It would have been unfortunate if the fantastic notion had been 
treated with any sort of indulgence.' Why it should be supposed that 
with the Dukes of Norfolk and Richmond, the Earl of Derby, Lord 
Grrenfell, and their colleagues, compulsory service for home defence is 
a ' hobby ' is incomprehensible ; characterising universal service for 
home defence, which not one of the dissentient members regards 
as totally out of the question, as a ' fantastic notion,' indicates, 
on the part of the writer, the possession of an amount of confidence 
in his own opinion that few soldiers or sailors who have studied the 
subject possess. Had the Report been of a milk-and-water, colourless 
character, it would soon have been consigned to the limbo of ephemeral 
Blue-books, and no one would have troubled himself to read the 
evidence ; but when the eight signatories, known not to be fools, are 
held up to sneers and ridicule on the one hand, and the Times, on the 
other hand, affirms that the Report is of ' historical importance,' these 
eight men are bound to receive their reward, in the certainty that 

B 2 


such a peculiar reception is certain to draw to the Report and the 
evidence the attention of all thinking men. 

The Commissioners were directed to ' inquire into the organisa- 
tion, numbers, and terms of service of our Militia and Volunteer 
Forces ; and to report whether any, and, if any, what, changes are 
required in order to secure that these forces shall be maintained in a 
condition of military efficiency and at an adequate strength.' The 
Commissioners commenced their inquiry, it may be presumed, with 
impartial minds ; but as they were directed to report how to secure 
the maintenance of these forces in an efficient condition and in 
adequate strength, it was only after ascertaining the functions those 
forces would have to fulfil that the inquiry could be further extended. 
The Garde Nationale in France was thoroughly efficient in 1870-71 if 
it knew enough to be able to defend its own localities ; for the Garde 
Mobile, intended to form part of the mobile army, a much higher 
standard of efficiency was necessary. A very small staff and but 
little equipment were needed for the one ; a highly trained and com- 
plete staff and much impedimenta were the necessary requirements 
for the other. Similarly as regards the officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers ; whilst the Garde Mobile must be complete in these, and 
it was only good, well-trained soldiers that could be leaders, their 
local influence and position might go very far to counterbalance 
professional deficiencies in the Garde Nationale in local defence. Had 
I had the honour of being one of the Commissioners, I should have 
joined most firmly with my colleagues in demanding this preliminary 
information respecting the functions, for there would have recurred 
to my mind a lecture delivered at the Royal United Service Institu- 
tion by Lieut.-Colonel Eustace Balfour on the 28th of November, 
1895, when he spoke as follows : 

' Volunteering is, in two respects, similar to the labours of the 
Israelites in their efforts to make bricks without straw. The clay we 
have of good quality and in sufficient abundance ; but we lack time to 
harden it, and money to spend on the more modern appliances for its 
manufacture. With the financial side of the question I am not to-day 
concerned, I therefore put that aside ; but for the rest we all know 
what would be the result if a bricklayer's apprentice were to set him- 
self to erect a structure of half-burnt bricks. Not only would that 
structure present all the failures of ignorance, but the bricks would be 
twisted out of shape, and would have to be remoulded before they 
could again advance in the process of manufacture.' 

In the course of the discussion that followed, I protested, as a 
retired soldier- civilian, as I did later on in an article in this Review, 
against the walls for the defence of my own locality being constructed 
of bricks of this kind. But Lord Wolseley, who presided at the 
lecture and had just become Commander-in-Chief, made, in his 
summing-up, a remarkable statement. ' We must remember what 


that force is composed of. We must remember that a very large pro- 
portion of the officers in it cannot devote themselves day by day, or 
even for some hours during specified weeks in the winter, to learn 
what we would like to teach them. We have to take them as they are. 
As practical men, if we cannot have a whole loaf we must be contented 
to take half. If a man has a gap in his fence and cannot afford to have 
an iron gate, he must be prepared to put up with a wooden one. That 
is the way in which we must look at the Volunteer force.' 

The italics are my own, as elsewhere in this article. We poor 
civilians are to be content with walls of half -burnt bricks and gates of 
wood. Against this exasperating theory I protested strongly in the 
article referred to, and I do so now again. About the same time 
Lord Lansdowne, the then Secretary of State for War, stated that 
' he was informed on the best authority that there never was a time 
when the Volunteer force, in point of discipline and efficiency, stood 
higher than at present.' But this is beside the mark, for mere better 
than badjs not necessarily good. The Commissioners were appointed 
to inquire into efficiency and numbers ; it might be possible that the 
other forms of defence in this country are so strong and trustworthy 
that walls of ' half-burnt bricks ' and ' gates of wood ' would do very 
well, as being ornamental rather than for actual use ; it might be, on 
the other hand, that owing to the progress of modern warfare, the 
altered conditions of sea warfare, and the huge expansion of the 
Empire in the last five years, ' half -burnt bricks ' and ' gates of wood,' 
even in the places assigned them, would be about of as little value to 
us inhabitants of the British Isles as the Noah's ark in the children's 
nursery would have been to Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japhet in the 
days of the Flood. So the Commissioners were bound to ascertain at 
the very outset the functions of the forces. If an owner hands over 
a racing colt for training, the trainer is not likely to bring him out a 
winner if he is left in doubt as to whether the owner intends to run 
the colt for a six-furlong race, or the Derby, or the Grand National. 

Naturally, therefore, the Commissioners commenced with an 
inquiry at the War Office as to the views held there on the subject. 
In response they received a document, a memorandum headed : ' The 
Organisation of the Auxiliary Forces considered in relation to the 
Military Defence of the Empire.' Lieut. -General Sir W. Nicholson, 
the then Director-General of Military Intelligence and Mobilisation, 
was careful, however, to explain that it was an authoritative expres- 
sion of the present views (19th of May, 1903) of the Commander-in-Chief 
and the Secretary of State only i.e., Earl Roberts and Mr. Brodrick. 
They then tried to ascertain the views held at the Admiralty on the 
subject of invasion, inasmuch as in the War Office memorandum the 
Auxiliary Forces were reckoned on in the defence. This information 
the Admiralty declined to give, but suggested application to the 
Committee of Imperial Defence. So in a dignified letter of the 26th 


of May, signed by the Duke of Norfolk, the Commission asked the 
Committee of Defence, of which the Duke of Devonshire was chairman, 
two questions : 

1. To arrive at a conclusion as to what should be the strength of the Auxiliary 
Forces, it is necessary to have an approximate idea of the strength of the in- 
vading force which the land forces may be called on to meet. What do the 
Committee of Defence consider to be the maximum and minimum limits 
between which the strength of the invading force would probably be fixed ? 

2. Is it contemplated that the duty of meeting the invading force should fall 
mainly on the Auxiliary Forces ? In other words, is the Koyal Commission 
justified in believing that the contingency may arise in which the number of 
fighting units of the Eegular Army left in the country will be very small ? 

These are questions of a kind which would enter into many an 
operation of war, and which would need to be answered before arriving 
at a decision not only on the conduct of the operations, but also on 
the number and kind of the forces to be employed. At the time of 
sending in the questions two or three witnesses only besides Sir W. 
Nicholson had been under examination ; but nearly a month elapsed 
before any reply was received from the Duke of Devonshire, who 
then, in a memorandum, calmly informed the Duke of Norfolk that 
' the reference to the Royal Commission was not intended to cover an 
inquiry into the numbers of either Regular or Auxiliary Forces which 
should be maintained for Home Defence or for other services ' ; and 
yet the terms of reference distinctly state that the Commission is to 
ascertain what changes may be necessary to maintain these forces, not 
merely in a condition of military efficiency, but also at an adequate 
strength, Mr. Akers-Douglas, the Minister who signed the Royal 
Warrant, specifies ' adequate strength ' as one of the two necessary 
conditions of the Forces, one of the two objects to be aimed at. 
Just two months later, the Duke of Devonshire, another Minister, 
says that the consideration of adequacy does not enter into their 
work. But by this time the Commission, which had been working 
hard, had been collecting most valuable opinions on this same question 
of adequacy. 

The Duke of Devonshire recommended, however, that the numbers 
given in the present mobilisation scheme of the War Office should be 
accepted, and, he added, ' it may be assumed that if these forces 
should be required to resist an invasion, it might be after a consider- 
able portion of the Regular Troops might have left the country.' When 
this communication was received, the Commission had entered on the 
investigation of other branches of the inquiry, so, apparently, the 
numbers given in the mobilisation scheme were not at once asked 
for ; but shortly before the autumnal adjournment there came from 
the Secretary of the Imperial Defence Committee a letter and a 
memorandum, dated the 22nd of July, both of a most remarkable 
character. It must be borne in mind that the scope of the inquiry 

by the Commission was laid down in a Royal Warrant, in which the 
King himself speaks, first gives greeting to each individual member, 
and then specifies the task they have to carry out, and in one clause 
says : ' Our further will and pleasure is that you do, with as little 
delay as possible, report to Us under your hands and seals, or under 
the hands and seals of any three or more of you, your opinion upon 
the matters herein submitted for your consideration.' The warrant 
is signed ' By his Majesty's command. A. Akers-Douglas.' The letter 
of the 22nd of July gives as the object in sending the memorandum 
the ' defining more clearly the scope of the inquiries to be undertaken, 
by the Commission and the Committee respectively. The memoran- 
dum warns the Commission that the War Office memorandum origin- 
ally furnished to it is ' not to be taken by it as authoritative ' ; and 
then follow passages which must be given in extenso : 

It appears to the Committee of Imperial Defence that it would be most 
unfortunate if the Eoyal Commission should, with necessarily imperfect oppor- 
tunities of examining the question, incorporate into its Report an expression of 
opinion as to the liability to invasion or as to the strength of the force which 
should be maintained for the defence of the United Kingdom or for the other 
purposes referred to, which may afterwards be found to be at variance with the 
deliberate and authoritative decision of the Committee of Imperial Defence, 
whose special function it has been to examine these questions with a full com- 
mand of all the sources of information at the disposal both of the Admiralty and 
of the War Office. 

It appears to the Committee of Imperial Defence that the main object for 
which the Royal Commission was appointed was to advise his Majesty's 
Government and Parliament, not as to the strength at which the Militia and 
Yolunteers should be maintained in the country, but how the establishment of 
Militia and Volunteers could be maintained at full efficiency, and at the strength 
which may be eventually decided by his Majesty's Government and Parliament, 
on the advice of the Committee of Imperial Defence, to be necessary. It is 
therefore suggested that the present Mobilisation Scheme should be taken as 
the basis on which the Royal Commission should consider this question, as the 
principles which they lay down must necessarily be applicable equally to an 
establishment which may vary within reasonable limits on either side of 
the existing one. 

The Commission at once asked the Committee for a copy of the 
scheme, and in reply were refused the copy, but were told it would 
be sufficient if the figures were taken at 100,000 Militia and 200,000 

What a strange state of affairs is here revealed ! The chairman 
of the Defence Committee, in his individual capacity, undertakes to 
tell the chairman of a Royal Commission what its duties were, or, 
rather, were not, although the King himself has defined them. Then 
the Committee further lectures the Commission as to the scope of 
their respective inquiries, proceeds to make recommendations for 
omissions from the Report, and finally puts to it the conundrum 
how to maintain the establishment of the Forces at full efficiency 
and at the unknown quantity, x namely, the strength which at some 


future time is to be determined by the Government and Parliament. 
Surely the proper course for the Defence Committee to have taken 
was, instead of lecturing the Commission on its duties, to have 
obtained from the King a modification of the duties his Majesty had 
thought fit to impose on it. 

The Commission held on its own way in accordance with the 
instructions of his Majesty as conveyed to it in the Royal Warrant, 
and has produced in the Report and in the evidence published with 
it matter of the highest national value, matter worthy of close and! 
very grave consideration. 

The first section of the Report should be printed simply as a 
broadsheet and be distributed all over the country, in slums and 
in palatial residences alike, in the smallest agricultural hamlet and 
the busiest mercantile city. The Commission does not argue ; it gives 
only plain facts. 

' Each of the five great Powers of Europe has abandoned the once 
prevalent idea that war is the exclusive business of a limited class, 
and has subjected its male population to a thorough training, either 
naval or military. Accordingly, each of these nations is to-day 
ready to employ in war the greater part of its able-bodied male popu- 
lation between certain ages, under the guidance of a specially trained 
body of officers and non-commissioned officers. . . . Each of the 
great States has also, with a view to war, so organised its material 
resources, and in particular its means of communication, that they 
may be fully utilised for naval and military purposes from the very 
beginning of hostilities .... In a war against any of them Great 
Britain would be in one respect at a grave disadvantage. For while 
her antagonist by previous organisation would be enabled to devote 
to the struggle the greater part of its resources both in men and in 
material, Great Britain would not at the beginning have at her dis- 
posal more than a fraction of her population, and her material re- 
sources could be very imperfectly applied.' 

And now as to invasion. 

' The perfection of the means of communication, and in foreign 
countries, of the control of the State over them, is such that the 
concentration of a large force at any port or ports is practicable 
within a very short time ; what was formerly a matter of weeks is now 
an affair of days, possibly even of hours? 

, And then, after speaking of the corresponding development and 
changed conditions of naval warfare, the Report continues : 

' Naval warfare is always more concentrated and decisive than 
land warfare, and the effect of the developments just described is to 
intensify these characteristics, while, at the same time, the want of 
experience with the new instruments renders it difficult to predict 
the issue of a naval conflict. More is staked on a sea fight than ever, 


yet it is harder than ever to foresee the results which the destructive 
force of modern weapons may produce.' . . . l It is impossible for us 
to shut our eyes to the fact that the next naval war in which this country 
may be engaged will be on both sides a great experiment.' 

In the next section, the ' scope of the inquiry,' the Commission, 
quoting the figures furnished on the one hand by the War Office as 
required for home defence 330,000 (including 150,000 mobile troops), 
and, on the other, the 300,000 given by the Imperial Defence Com- 
mittee, points out, with pitiless logic, that these numbers are irre- 
concilable either with reliance solely on the Navy for protection 
against invasion, or against a small raid. ' An effective force in other 
words, an army of the strength proposed to us, can be required only 
to meet an invasion. Either invasion is possible or it is not. If not, 
no military force is required for home defence, and our inquiry could 
hardly serve any practical purpose. But if invasion is possible, it 
can be undertaken only by one of the great European Powers, which 
possess forces highly trained and ready to move in large numbers at 
the shortest notice.' 

And then they proceed to give their interpretation of the meaning 
of the words in the King's command, ' the condition of military 
efficiency ' in the Auxiliary Forces. 

' The Militia exist chiefly, and the Volunteers solely, for the pur- 
pose of resisting a possible invasion of the United Kingdom, which 
would be attempted only by a first-rate army. This purpose will not 
be fulfilled merely by a brave or creditable, but unsuccessful, resist- 
ance ; it requires the defeat of the enemy. The standard of efficiency 
to be aimed at it is therefore not a matter of opinion ; the conditions of 
war and of the battlefield must be met, and no lower standard can be laid 

The Commission had, in the absence of more authoritative infor- 
mation, to construct for itself the foundation on which to base its 
inquiry as to the standard of efficiency, and as to the numbers of the 
Auxiliary Forces required to carry out their functions ; and on the 
expert evidence laid before them they came to the conclusion that 
under certain circumstances it was quite possible that the function 
that these forces would have to fulfil would be the meeting and crushing 
an invading hostile force of 150,000 picked men, fully and admirably 
staffed, trained to the highest point of efficiency for acting in close 
country, led by officers and non-commissioned officers of high individual 
capacity in all ranks, and, I may add on my own account, possessing 
from highest to lowest a thorough knowledge of the country, obtained 
by previous close study of our own Ordnance maps, of which, we may 
be sure, the invaders would bring with them an ample supply, and on 
which doubtless they had previously carried out an infinite variety 
of war games. 

It seems to be generally overlooked that no Continental Power 


would strike a blow on land in this country without having first pre- 
pared a weapon absolutely reliable for the purpose, and that the special 
preparation of the force, as regards individual efficiency, can be carried 
on quietly and without observation, in the normal training which each 
officer, non-commissioned officer, and private undergoes in foreign 
armies. The same rule holds good with regard to the preparation of 
any naval and sea transport that might be required for an invasion. 
Under the well-thought-out and perfect systems that prevail on the 
Continent, the only order required for changing from complete passivity 
to action, immediate and at full power, is ' Go ahead ' ; everyone at 
once takes his allotted place in the huge human machine, and the 
whole machine at once starts working, smoothly, rapidly, and without 
any special effort. When I hear of time available to make prepara- 
tions to meet a threatened invasion, the bit of information I once 
picked up from a subaltern in the German army recurs to my mind. 
' I have received and returned,' he said, ' the Red-Book specifying my 
work on the order to mobilise ; I go to Metz to bring up the Reservists, 
and in the book I have been informed of the railway stations at which 
we shall stop during the journey, and the number of cups of coffee 
that will be ready for us at certain places.' And that implies a good 
deal more namely, that some one or other, possibly a civilian at some 
small station, knows now that he also must be ready, on the word 
* Mobilise,' to supply the definitively prescribed number of cups of 

The Commissioners then set to work to ascertain the present con- 
dition of the Auxiliary Forces, the distance they are below this necessary 
standard of efficiency, and the possibility of their ever reaching it ; and 
after a searching inquiry, eight out of the twelve found themselves 
compelled eventually to arrive at the conclusion embodied in the final 
paragraph of the Report, and which has aroused such a tempest of 
unreasoning condemnation : the conclusion that ' Your Majesty's 
Militia and Volunteer forces have not at present either the strength 
or the military efficiency required to enable them to fulfil the functions 
for which they exist ; that their military efficiency would be much 
increased by the adoption of the measures set forth in the fourth 
section of this report, which would make them valuable auxiliaries 
to the regular Army ; but that a home defence army capable, in the 
absence of the whole or the greater portion of the regular forces, of 
protecting this country against invasion can be raised and maintained 
only on the principle that it is the duty of every citizen of military age 
and sound physique to be trained for the national defence, and to take 
part in it should emergency arise." 1 

And although three of the Commissioners furnish other reports, 
all three recommend compulsory service of some kind or other. Sir 
Ralph Knox would fix the quota for both Militia and Volunteers, and 
if this were not furnished for the year, the whole quota next year 


should be furnished as Militia from all men in their twenty-first year, 
and thenceforward for Militia only, the schemes of Volunteer Service 
ceasing to exist. 

Colonels Satterthwaite and Dalmahoy, both Volunteer officers, 
recommend the principle of compulsion, but not universal service. 
They say : 

The principle of compulsion having been accepted, we think that every effort 
should be made to raise the necessary troops by voluntary means, but that the 
man who neglects his opportunity of learning the work necessary to enable him 
to take his part in the defence of the country in his earlier years, should be liable 
to compulsion at the age of twenty. 

I presume that, by an oversight, the words ' in his earlier years ' 
are misplaced, and are intended to follow the word ' learning.' Then 
comes : 

To attain this [what ?] every male inhabitant who is not a member of one of 
the Forces of the Crown, should, on a certain date in the year following his 
twentieth birthday, be required to attend and register his name and address. If 
exempted from any of the causes allowed by law, he would then lodge his 
exemption certificate. If not, he would either : 

1. Be allotted to the Militia or Volunteers, according to any deficiency there 
might be in the units comprised in the Command of the General Officer Com- 
manding-in- Chief ; or 

2. Be warned to attend for training and service on proclamation of great 
emergency ; or 

3. Be discharged as physically unfit. 

Voluntary enlistment should not commence in either Force before the age of 
eighteen, and the medical inspection of the Volunteers should be much stricter 
than at present. 

It seems, therefore, that the only difference between the majority 
and the minority of the Commission is that, whereas the former 
desire to make us secure at once, the latter wish to postpone the pro- 
cess until the efficacy of less strong measures has been tried. 

I defer for the present the consideration of the views put forward 
to the Commission by the witnesses with great experience of high com- 
mand in modern war ; and the first impression I receive from the 
views expressed by many other of the witnesses is that there is a general 
belief that, like as the sun was stayed in the heavens for the benefit of 
the chosen people, so the world is for an indefinite period to stop 
rotating until the measures recommended in the minority reports for 
the improvement of the Auxiliary Forces for the defence of the British 
Isles have had time, not, be it noted, to bring about the desired result, 
but until we shall be able to ascertain whether they would do so at 
all. The idea seems prevalent that we are in a sort of millennium, 
with any amount of time for sluggish snail-pace improvement. The 
minority reports, and the recommendations for which the majority 
of the Commissioners, much against their will and their sound 
appreciation of the facts of the matter, find place in their report, 


are suitable for an imaginary world, but not for the tempestuous 
actual world in which our lot is cast. 

In this our world, great nations stand permanently armed to the 
teeth, and ready to ' let slip the dogs of war.' As Major Ross, in his 
Representative Government and War, points out, a nation that deter- 
mines to hold or gain the upper hand lies in wait till the favourable 
moment comes, the moment when it possesses some marked superiority 
or advantage over its rival, and then it either converts some little 
insult or fancied grievance into a casus belli, or in the absence of these 
it creates a casus belli, and plunges forthwith into the struggle. Just 
now ' 1'entente cordiale,' whilst of comfort and benefit to the present, 
has a blinding effect on us as to the future, and has an obliterating 
effect on the remembrance of the history of the past. And yet how 
rapidly change the feelings of nations to each other ! The memories 
of that dark year 1900 seem quite blotted out. Engaged in a stu- 
pendous struggle oversea, we were absolutely defenceless at home. 
I went about among the camps of the Regular and Auxiliary Forces, 
and found an almost hopeless absence of knowledge of soldiering. 
A recently promoted general officer whom I congratulated on his 
advancement, replied, ' I am very glad, but I want to be taught 
general's work.' I reported to the civil and military authorities 
that, in my opinion, 50,000 highly trained regular troops of any 
hostile foreign Power could walk from one end of England to the 
other, as I still believe they could have done. A syndicate of 
journalists invited me to write a series of articles on the invasion 
of England : in my reply I told them that for me to do so would 
be the act of a ' traitor ' ; and to emphasise this I informed them of 
the fact, of which they till then, like all not behind the scenes, 
were in complete ignorance, that we had only between thirty and 
forty field guns with which to enter on a defensive campaign. We 
were simply on the brink of a hopeless catastrophe at the end of 1900. 
In the course of three years the political weathercock has gone clean 
round. He would be a bold prophet, however, who would guarantee 
for the next three years its remaining in this position. Our safety 
now depends on there arising no misunderstanding with any great 
foreign Power, no increase of present requirements for holding our 
now vastly expanded empire, and on our being generously allowed by 
our possible foes time to find out whether our would-be defenders, 
who have other ' avocations in life,' can kindly spare enough 
time to acquire sufficient efficiency to afford us real protection in 
the defence of our homes by the trial of the many nostrums and 
alleged specifics, including quack remedies, with which the evidence 
teems. And how much stronger, for both possible Imperial oversea 
needs and for home defence, are we now than we were at the 
commencement of the South African war ? A little, but not much. 
No wonder that the German officers who have read the Report 


regard the matter, as the Berlin correspondent of the Times tells 
us, with an interest only ' languid and perfunctory.' Had universal 
service been the unanimous and sole recommendation of the 
Commission, a very different sort of interest would have been 
aroused. The point at issue between the majority of the Commis- 
sioners and their opponents, whether within the Commission itself or 
in the country generally, is simply whether by a certain amount of 
individual self-sacrifice as patriotic citizens, we shall render ourselves 
practically secure against invasion, or whether, as citizens patriotic 
only nominally, we shall grudge the small amount of convenience 
and ease we are asked to give up for the general good, and shall 
prefer to continue for an indefinite period in a sort of fancied happy- 
go-lucky security, which, in plain words, is absolute insecurity. 

Bearing in mind the hopelessness of accepting, under the altered 
conditions of sea transport, any fixed time whatever for preparation 
against invasion, to my mind it does not matter what strength is 
assumed as that of the invading force. 

I remember in the course of conversation at Brussels in 1874, 
at the Conference on the Usages of War, Colonel von Voigts-Rhetz 
telling my general, the late Sir Alfred Horsford, that if he could land 
in England with three army corps, in those days 90,000 men, he could 
do a good deal. Von Voigts-Rhetz did not seem to think much of 
small raids, but we must remember on the one hand the disastrous 
effect that a landing of say 20,000 men at two or three points on the 
coast would produce, and the enormous damage they might effect ; 
and, on the other hand, that numbers like these are a mere trifle in 
the total of Continental armies nowadays, and that so disastrous 
would be the effect produced on this country by a raid of any kind, 
that preserving the communication of the raiding forces across sea, 
or even their eventual destruction or loss, would not enter into the 
hostile calculations as a deterrent to the expedition. Colonel von 
Voigts-Rhetz spoke with all the experience derived from fighting 
against hastily organised auxiliary forces in that part of France which 
resembles in its physical aspects close English country namely, the 
country on the Loire. 

It is obviously impossible to incorporate in an article such as this 
even an analysis of the huge masses of oral and written evidence favour- 
ing respectively the conclusions of the majority and those of the 
minority of the Commissioners ; the one in support of the adoption of a 
scheme certain and sure to obtain the object desired namely, security 
against any invasion attempted, save, of course, one carried out 
under some combination of misfortunes on our side that would render 
resistance hopeless ; the other teeming with a multitude of recom- 
mendations, of all kinds and sorts, but all alike tentative in character 
as to their ultimate success, and dependent for their practical value 
on the effect of sentiment, ' patriotism under encouragement ' ; and, 


moreover, admitted only to produce a satisfactory result if the invader 
is sufficiently magnanimous, benevolent, high-minded, and idiotic, 
to give us a period of from one to two months' duration for hurry-skurry 
preparation. If, thus favoured by fortune, we should be allowed to 
' start fair,' we should then have the satisfaction of knowing that we 
were protected by some 300,000 noble patriots, quite competent, 
when behind entrenchments and hedgerows in ' prepared positions,' 
to hold those positions against assault, if the enemy were foolish enough 
to attack these positions direct ; but that the patriots would be com- 
petent to give a good account of him if, demonstrating against them 
so as to hold them in these positions, his highly-trained and well-led 
troops took to manoeuvring in the concealed and difficult country 
against our defenders, or even what would be the result of our de- 
fenders issuing out of the positions and trying to force him back to 
his ships or into the sea, the boldest believer in the power of 
' patriotism under encouragement ' does not dare to prophesy. Per- 
haps these, however, are minor details. 

But it is impossible to let pass without comment the evidence 
given by Major-General Sir Alfred Turner, K.C.B., who until quite 
lately was the Inspector-General of the Auxiliary Forces. From his 
high official position, his knowledge of war, and his admitted personal 
ability, the General must be regarded as the champion of the adver- 
saries of the Report, and as the ablest exponent of the views and 
opinions of the anti-compulsory-service party ; and it must be owned 
that if the cause he championed was weak, he did all he could to 
make the best of it. The General was four times before the 
Commission, and, whereas the average number of answers of the 
other 133 witnesses was 173, the answers recorded to the General's 
account are 1,113, besides fifteen memoranda of sorts. It was on 
the 8th of June last year that the General first gave evidence, and 
it is fortunate that, when we have to commence the perusal of 
those 1,113 answers and fifteen memoranda just a year later, he 
contributed to the Daily Express, almost simultaneously with their 
being given to the public, an article giving a final summary of his 
views ; so both article and evidence may be taken together, and the 
work of examining the latter is much eased thereby. I take from the 
article his estimate of the maximum amount of training that it is 
possible for the Auxiliary Forces to give consistently with their ' other 
avocations in life.' He regards six months' training of the Militia 
in the first year as possible : 

But I do not think that more than one month's training for the battalion or 
other unit could be obtained, because officers who are business and professional 
men cannot possibly leave their work for six months. This must be obvious to 
anybody who knows anything about professions or business. The Volunteers 
cannot do more training than they now do, and though some battalions or at 
least a portion of them manage to go into camp for fourteen days, the majority 


of large employers of labour, and especially in the North of England, many of 
whom have a great number of Volunteers in their employ, cannot possibly give 
their men more than a week's leave at a time to go into camp. 

And later on he says : 

My firm conviction is that shooting is by far the most important factor in 
the defence of the country, and, as I stated in my evidence to the Commission, 
'Teach the men to shoot, and let the Government support not only the Volun- 
teers, but also the rifle clubs throughout the country." If this is done, and the 
youth of the country are trained at school as recommended, having regard to 
our geographical position we have all that is necessary for home defence. This 
is the opinion of experts in Germany and France, whose people, owing to 
the presence of their powerful neighbours close to their frontiers, are obliged 
to bear the burden of conscription, which is being felt more every year. 

I have had the pleasure of the personal friendship of Sir Alfred for 
many years, and often have we worked together in Volunteer instruc- 
tional exercises at the war game, but it has been reserved for this 
article and the evidence to reveal to me the astounding views held by 
him not only as to the qualifications and training necessary for our Home 
Defence Army, but also on war. At the outset I would remark that the 
quoting of the opinions expressed to him by foreign officers, especially 
when those were German staff officers, reveals to me an absence of 
guile in the General's character for which I had not given him credit. 
Is it likely that the German or the French staff officers would endeavour 
to impress on the mind of the Inspector-General of the Auxiliary 
Forces of Great Britain their belief in the inefficiency of those forces ? 

The perusal of the General's evidence leads me to the conclusion that 
he is so firm a believer in the Navy as our one and only line of defence 
that the possession of a land second line of defence is not, in his opinion, 
of importance, and that this second line is of little more use than 
for show. Should the Navy fail us, almost an impossibility in his 
opinion, we must at once throw up the sponge, for he thinks there is 
only starvation before us. A few words seem desirable here with 
regard to the ' starvation bogie ' trotted out by the General. The 
weak point in accepting the starvation bogie as an ally either in 
theory or practice is that it is so unreliable and so apt to mislead. 
After Sedan it was the starvation theory applied to practice that 
was the foundation of the strategy adopted by Von Moltke for the 
next series of operations. Paris, it was believed, could hold out only 
for eight days ; the Parisians would surrender as soon as, according to 
Von Moltke's own recorded words, they had no ' fresh milk.' But 
when the eight days' deprivation of fresh milk did not lead to sur- 
render, the calculation of resistance was extended to six weeks ; yet 
these calculations were proved to be false, for it was not until more 
than four months of very short commons had elapsed that starvation, 
combined with the knowledge that there was no hope of relief from 
the provinces, compelled the Parisians to surrender ; and with better 


leading on the French side, it is indubitable that during that period the 
investment would have been raised for a time at all events. Dividing 
an estimated existing food supply by the number of mouths to eat 
it, and accepting the dividend as the limit of human endurance, is 
an arithmetical process that all history shows to be useless for the 
practical purposes of war. 

But the General desires also, for some reason not very clear, 
to keep the Auxiliary Forces in existence ; it is better, he says, 
to have them than nobody at all. So the General appears to 
be on the horns of a dilemma, and it was in his endeavour to 
reconcile the two incompatible ideas, an invincible fleet and the 
maintenance of an auxiliary force for land home defence (a useless, 
great, and wanton waste of money if the fleet is invincible, or if the 
moment it is defeated we are starved), that the General had such a 
bad time under the searching cross-examination by the Royal Com- 
missioners, and, being driven from pillar to post, gave occasionally 
answers of the most remarkable character, to my mind totally irre- 
concilable with his mental and professional ability. For instance, 
he fully admitted the imperious necessity for making good the great 
deficiency in our supply of officers and good non-commissioned officers, 
a deficiency which might altogether disappear under the conditions of 
universal liability to service, and the formation of a corps of well- 
educated men analogous to the ' unteroffizier ' of Germany. But 
later on (Question 21871-3) his provision of officers to make up the 
deficiency in the Auxiliary Forces is to bring back to them all the officers 
who have retired from the Regular and Auxiliary Forces. ' Lists of 
retired officers are kept everywhere ; I should think that patriotism 
would bring them all back into the ranks, and I do not think it would 
be necessary to have any organisation in time of peace to ask whether 
they were or were not coming back ' ! This is a reversal of the axiom, 
' if you desire peace, prepare for war,' with a vengeance. Q. 21884 : 
' We must be contented with the best non-commissioned officers and 
officers we can get ' ; and then comes the height of credulity. Q. 21885 : 
' I doubt very much if the foreigners know these details that we are 
short of officers ; I do not think they know much about it. Of course 
their Intelligence Departments are remarkably good, but I doubt if 
they go into details of that kind.' The thought inevitably arises : 
does the General, notwithstanding his many occasions of intercourse 
with the German staff, know much about the contents of the pigeon- 
holes in their offices ? And we come across a strange answer to Q. 21892 : 
' Is not the advance in enclosed country easier than an advance over 
open ground ? A. Not for trained troops, I should think.' Q. 2005 
ran : ' I should tell you that we have it in evidence before us that the 
difficult nature of the country would tell in favour of the higher- 
trained troops, but you do not agree with that ? A. Not in the 
least.' Again Q. 2001. Leading and manoeuvring of troops in an en- 


closed country and a wooded country, and a country where you cannot 
see very far, is almost ' impossible for the attack.' And yet surely all 
history shows that in country like this it is individual intelligence 
combined with high discipline and with efficiency among the very 
lowest as well as the highest leaders that tells in the struggle. 

The General, in support of his views, several times refers to the second 
period of the Franco-German War, the period when Gambetta was in con- 
trol of the provinces ; and I can only say that, from my own very close 
study of that period, the conclusions at which I arrive as to the value 
of hastily raised auxiliary troops differ very much from his. The 
remnant of the regular army in France at that time he gives as 30,000 ; 
whilst Hoenig estimates that there were 180,000 either fully or partially 
trained. On the Loire, the proportion of auxiliaries to regulars was 
four to five, and the 20th Corps, in which the Garde Mobile outnumbered 
the regulars in the proportion of twenty-two to nine, was so utterly 
demoralised by its failure on the only occasion when it took the offen- 
sive that its general reported it to be useless for several days ; and in 
this corps, as in the whole of the French forces, the acknowledged 
weak point was the deficiency of good officers and good non-commis- 
sioned officers. Yet the general (Q. 21871) ' looks with confidence ' 
to our filling our cadres of officers in ' exactly the same way as 
these were filled in Gambetta' s levies.' In close country, the 
Garde Mobile and Garde Nationale did, it is true, find some counter- 
balancing to their inherent weakness, but where these ' absolutely 
untrained men, put out in six weeks, made a very stout fight against 
the victorious and perfectly trained German army in compara- 
tively open country,' except to be utterly defeated, I must leave the 
General to tell me ; I do not know. 

Mere extracts from evidence are never satisfactory, but one more 
must yet be given. Q. 21894 (Lord Grenfell) : ' We are assuming 
that there is an invasion that an invasion has taken place, as the 
Duke said, and that we have, say, 150,000 of the invader : Do you think 
this force [i.e., our auxiliary forces] officered with the old officers and 
with the present non-commissioned officers, would be sufficient ? 
A. Yes.' Q. 21895 : ' Do you mean the present forces, the Militia and 
the Volunteers which are largely under-officered ? A. Yes.' And 
these answers in absolute opposition to those given by Earl Roberts, 
Sir T. Kelly-Kenny, Sir John French, and Lord Methuen, who have 
had personal experience of the most modern war, and whose views 
are shared by Viscount Wolseley, Sir Evelyn Wood, and Sir W. 

I again say that it is only by a careful examination of the 
evidence and memoranda that anyone can form a sound opinion 
on the verdict given by the Royal Commission, and I recommend to 
those who are willing to undertake the task the perusal of Sir Alfred 
Turner's evidence, especially that portion given on the 20th of January 

VOL. LVI No. 329 C 


this year, for it is the most damnatory evidence against the acceptance 
of his counsel that from our Auxiliary Forces we should be content to 
accept as much as we can ' expect from them ' consistently with 
their 'other avocations in life.' In .his 7answer to Q. 21812, .the 
General said that he had been accused of being a sort of advocatus 
diaboli of the Auxiliary Forces, and that he was perfectly willing to 
be an advocatus diaboli or anybody else if he could do good. It 
would seem that he has laid himself open to the charge of assuming 
that character during the late inquiry. Here I must leave my friend. 
It is much to be regretted that in the margins of the Majority 
Report there are no references indicating those passages in the evi- 
dence on which the Commissioners based the conclusions at which 
they arrived ; for, buried deep down iu the fourth volume, are two 
passages, each all-important and of the weightiest character. The 
first is to be found at p. 216. where, in the summary of remarks 
sent in by 124 Commanding Officers of Militia Infantry units, we read 
as follows : 

It is considered that the threat of enforcing the Ballot Act would render any 
vital change unnecessary : ' No doubt if the Ballot were hanging over the 
employers' heads (with no exemption) they would encourage men to join for 
fear of themselves or their sons having to serve. This would also keep the 
officers' ranks filled ; and with full Militia ranks, well treated, there would be no 
lack of troops for the Regular Army.' 

1 If the Militia in this country is to be maintained on its present establishment, 
it will be necessary to introduce either further money inducements to serve or 
some form of compulsory service.' 

These paragraphs seem to clear the way towards the solution of 
the Militia question ; but the solution of the problem how to render 
the Volunteer Force efficient seems almost hopeless when we turn to the 
summary of answers received from 218 commanding officers of Infantry 
battalions of the Volunteer Force, and on p. 263 read as follows : 

Throughout the reports there is much to show that matters have come to a 
deadlock. The necessity for stringent regulations is fully acknowledged, but the 
' remarks ' are, in the majority of cases, directed to showing how badly the shoe 
pinches. ' There is a limit beyond which civilians cannot be expected to give 
their services and time to the State. . . . This limit has been reached, if not 
exceeded, by the present regulations.' 

Here, again, are the ' gates of wood,' the ' bricks without straw ' 
of 1895, and again I protest against the contribution paid by myself 
or others to the public treasury being any longer misappropriated to 
keep them going in their present condition. 

But what, to my mind, is worse still, must also be brought to 
notice. Not only are the Volunteers, as are the Regulars and Militia, 
short of officers, but as a body these officers are lamentably inefficient. 
In paragraph 48 of the Report is written : 

' We have to look to the officers of the Volunteer Force as the 


framework of our army. They are of very unequal quality. Many 
of them have given themselves an excellent military education, and 
would be a valuable element in any army ; the majority, however, have 
neither the theoretical knowledge nor the practical skill in the handling of 
troops which would make them competent instructors in peace or leaders 
in war? 

No, the Volunteer Force as it now stands is but a reed of the most 
fragile and weak character on which to depend as the main factor in 
home defence, and the officer is the weakest element in it ; and the 
weakness seems irremediable even with the strongest encouragement 
to remedy it. As Colonel F. W. Tannett- Walker, a representative of 
the Institute of Commanding Officers of Volunteers, said in his answer 
to Q. 7695 : ' With regard to the difficulty of getting officers, it really 
seems to all of us to be almost an unsolvable question.' 

By all means let us enrol in our Land Line of Defence that small 
minority, the very pick of the Volunteer Force, but to trust to the 
Force as a main body in that Line would be absolutely suicidal. 

The signatories of the minority reports decidedly deserve our thanks 
for suggesting the feeble and doubtful remedies they put forward, 
and which are almost counsels of despair. But those Commissioners 
who signed the majority report are deserving of all honour and praise ; 
for in this ' historic ' document they have boldly, courageously, and 
patriotically told to their countrymen the real and full truth as to our 
present pitiable military situation. It is for the educated classes of 
this country those who have a material stake in the existence of 
Great Britain as a great nation, the possessors of property, the bankers, 
the merchants, the manufacturers to study the evidence most care- 
fully, and then to influence the other classes to accept with themselves 
the obligation common to them one and all, to render our island 
impregnable to assault, no matter how disabled or distant from us 
for a time may be the deservedly trusted first line of defence, our 
Koyal Navy. 


c 2 



UNDOUBTEDLY the most striking point in the Report of the Royal 
Commission on the Militia and Volunteers, the point which has roused 
most public interest and excited most controversy, is its practically 
unanimous finding that the time has arrived for the adoption in this 
country of the principle of ' training to arms the whole able-bodied 
male population.' Whatever may be the value of the detailed sugges- 
tions made in the Report, it must be admitted that this single pro- 
nouncement marks an important epoch in the history of our military 
system, not because it is likely to receive immediate application, but 
because this is the first time an official body, after a long and searching 
inquiry, entered upon and conducted without any suspicion of bias or 
prejudice, has reported definitely in favour of the principle of com- 

The Report has been attacked from many sides, and among others 
upon the ground that the Commissioners have gone outside their 
reference. The complaint is made that they were instructed merely 
to report upon the measures necessary to render the existing system 
more efficient, and not to propose revolutionary changes which would 
entirely subvert it. In the long run the country is more likely to 
approve of the courage than to blame the temerity of the Duke of 
Norfolk and his colleagues for following the evidence brought before 
them down to the root principles and fundamental conditions which 
underlie any and every adequate system of national defence. 

It is not proposed in this article to deal with the purely military 
criticisms which have been levelled against the adoption of universal 
military training as suggested in the Report. Many such criticisms 
are marked by a curious insularity of view and by a very inadequate 
appreciation of the wider aspects of our imperial responsibilities. It 
will be time enough, however, to consider them when the Committee 
of Defence has made up its mind as to what are the naval and military 
requirements of the United Kingdom and of the Empire, and Mr. 
Arnold-Forster has produced his scheme of Army reorganisation. 
One may say in general terms that it seems unlikely that we can, under 


any circumstances, much longer resist the influences which have forced 
every other European country to substitute a mainly national for a 
wholly professional army. It is, of course, admitted that our circum- 
stances differ from theirs, and that our needs and dangers are other 
than theirs. 

While their military systems are based upon the assumption that 
they will have to defend compact territories, we are called upon to 
defend widely scattered oversea possessions ; while the vast majority 
of their land force must always serve at home, a very large proportion 
of ours, even in times of peace, must serve abroad. In our case 
naval forces, in theirs land forces, form the predominant element in 
schemes of home defence. No one imagines that we need the same 
sort of military organisation or so large a war establishment for home 
defence as is necessary in Continental countries, while it is universally 
acknowledged that our army for foreign service must always be a 
voluntarily recruited army. But all these differences are really 
arguments, not against deepening and widening the sources from 
which our actual military requirements must ultimately be supplied, but 
solely against any wholesale imitation of Continental methods. There 
is, it is true, no similarity between their circumstances and ours, but 
there is the closest possible likeness between the magnitude of our 
respective responsibilities and dangers. They have been driven, by 
menace to their national existence, to base their military systems 
upon the training to arms of their whole male population. The details 
they have worked out according to their individual requirements. 
We are being impelled in exactly the same direction by the rapid 
growth of our imperial responsibilities, and the acknowledged difficulty 
of meeting sudden dangers abroad and at home with an army recruited 
solely by voluntary enlistment. The practice of voluntary enlistment 
answered its purpose when only a small army was needed. Its diffi- 
culties began when larger claims were made upon it ; at the present 
time we see it strained to its utmost limit. With the inexorable fact 
before us that, owing to political changes in the world about us 
which we are powerless to control, steadily increasing demands will 
be made upon it in the future, the probability of its breakdown becomes 
a practical certainty. When that breakdown is officially acknow- 
ledged, and we resort to some form of compulsion, we shall have 
exactly the same liberty to adapt and mould the compulsory system 
to our special national requirements as was enjoyed by our neigh- 

I have said we are being driven in this direction by the growth of 
our imperial responsibilities. I wonder whether we realise how much 
we are also being influenced by the pressure of European public 
opinion. When all European armies were professional or mercenary 
armies, we were all on the same footing, but since the epoch of national 
armies on the Continent the obligation of personal service in defence 


of the fatherland has become an obligation every man feels it his duty 
to fulfil, and no man desires to avoid. In our own time a great change 
has come over public feeling with regard to this question in Conti- 
nental countries. There was a time when young men sought to evade 
the duty of military service, when they preferred to cross the sea to 
England and America, even if such flight involved perpetual banish- 
ment ; but gradually such evasions have become rarer and rarer. 
To-day they are condemned by public opinion, and are of compara- 
tively infrequent occurrence. A couple of generations have sufficed 
to remove the grievance and to accustom the minds of young citizens 
to look upon military service as one of the duties of life, which is per- 
formed quietly, naturally, and without heroics. One of the conse- 
quences of the change is that our neighbours are beginning to look 
down upon us for our avoidance of what appears to them a natural 
obligation to the State. We hardly understand how deep this 
sentiment is in their minds. We are generally inclined to think any 
ill-feeling they may entertain towards us is compounded of ignorance 
and envy. I fear there is in it more than a spice of contempt. And 
the greater our prosperity, the more splendid our Empire, the stronger 
is the conviction on their part that our power abroad is maintained 
and our security at home is guaranteed, not by the personal service 
and personal sacrifice of every individual citizen, but by a system 
which permits and encourages the majority to cast its burden and 
delegate its duties to a very small minority. 

To many of us this question of compulsory military training is 
much larger than a purely military question, and should be discussed 
upon broader and more general lines, upon the basis of national well- 
being as well as of national safety. The army of a modern State has 
ceased to be a mere fighting machine, created and maintained for 
defence or aggression. It performs two distinct functions which it is 
important to keep clear and separate in our minds. It is primarily a 
great instrument of national defence, but it is also the nation's chief 
school of physical training and moral discipline. Discipline and 
physical fitness lie at the very root of national efficiency, and it is 
because we see in universal compulsory military training one of the 
main routes which lead to national efficiency that we should continue 
to advocate it, even if our military requirements were less pressing than 
they are. 

The object of the present writer is to examine briefly a few of the 
objections which are urged against it, not from the military, but from 
the industrial and social side, and to endeavour to show that they do 
not possess anything like the weight which is commonly attributed to- 

What are these objections ? 

It is asserted that compulsory military training involves ' deplorable 
economic waste,' inasmuch as it withdraws young men for a time 


from the pursuit of industries ; that it dislocates industrial life, and 
would never be accepted by employers ; and further, the fear is ex- 
pressed that, if it were adopted, it would bring with it all the admitted 
evils of Continental conscription and the barrack system. 

Taking these assertions in their order, it may first of all be asked 
whether, in the long run, any economic waste is incurred by interrupting 
for a time the industrial occupations of young men and submitting 
them to a careful course of physical and military training. We have 
an idea in this country that there is some superior cleverness or wisdom 
on our part in keeping the whole youthful male population uninter- 
ruptedly engaged in the production of wealth, while our neighbours 
have to take a year or two out of the lives of their able-bodied sons. 
There is a suspicious reminder in this view of a state of public opinion 
now gone by, which in the name of industry drove children of tender 
years into the factory, and which till quite lately, in the same cause, 
permitted and almost encouraged them to leave school at an earlier 
age than the children of any other enlightened people. The truism 
that the strength of a nation does not lie in the amount of wealth it 
produces, but in the physical vigour and trained intelligence of its 
people, can never cease to be one of the most vital of truths. As a 
matter of fact, the European country in which military service is 
most strictly enforced is the very country which has increased most 
rapidly in wealth, and has become our most formidable industrial 

German writers and public men, while admitting certain incidental 
drawbacks, not only refuse to allow that military service is an economic 
burden to their country, but declare that its educational and dis- 
ciplinary value are among the principal causes of Germany's progress 
and success. I think this view is shared by the majority of those in 
this country who have an intimate knowledge of international labour 
conditions. My own experience as an employer of labour in England, 
and as a director of British undertakings, which have in their service 
thousands of skilled and unskilled workmen on the Continent of 
Europe, in Austria, Bohemia, Germany, Belgium, France, and Italy, 
enables me to say, without any hesitation, that military training in 
the countries where it is practised has not only a high physical and 
moral, but an appreciable and calculable financial value, which varies 
in direct proportion to the thoroughness and strictness with which it 
is carried out. 

The loss of time involved in submitting every able-bodied male 
to, say, a year's military training is more than counterbalanced by the 
extraordinary improvement in national physique, and by the acquisi- 
tion of habits of ready obedience, attention, and combined action, 
which have so high an importance in industrial life. Even if some 
economic sacrifice were called for, it would surely be worth any country's 
while to make it, in order to arrest that physical deterioration which 


follows the flocking of population into towns. No country is more 
exposed to the danger of physical deterioration than our own, both 
absolutely and relatively, for here, more rapidly than elsewhere, the 
urban districts are growing at the expense of the rural. All the 
nations of Europe are giving systematic physical training to their 
whole male population (for every conscript has to pass through the 
gymnasium), with the best possible results. In England physical 
education among the masses stands very much where education in 
general stood before the Act of 1870 : that is to say, it can be obtained 
by those who have money to pay for it, but, in spite of considerable 
recent improvements, it does not form an integral and obligatory part 
of our national educational system. It is useless to delude ourselves 
with the idea that the national love of games is so strong that it is 
not necessary to give physical exercise a serious place in the curri- 
culum of our elementary schools. We do not act upon this view in 
the case of the only class of whom it might possibly be true, for the 
boys and young men of the richer classes are taught games with at 
least as much care as they are taught languages and mathematics. 
Experience shows that among the population of our large industrial 
towns, owing, no doubt, mainly to the absence of opportunity, the 
slightest desire for active physical exercise is rather the exception 
than the rule. For every youth who plays football, a hundred prefer 
to look on, with their hands in their pockets, at a match between pro- 
fessional players. In any case, spasmodic efforts to popularise games 
among the working classes can no more supply the need for national 
physical training than the night schools and Sunday schools which 
preceded the Act of 1870 could supply the place of compulsory ele- 
mentary education. If we persist in pitting our haphazard methods 
against the carefully reasoned and elaborately organised systems of 
OUT neighbours, we must relatively decline in physical fitness. It is 
only a question of time. When none were trained, our racial gifts, 
our climate, even our national food, gave us a certain physical pre- 
eminence ; but natural gifts, however great, natural predispositions, 
however strong, cannot in the long run take the place of careful pro- 
fessional training. 

It is easy to level the accusation of ' economic waste ' against the 
military systems of the Continent, but surely the most deplorable of 
all waste is to be found in the condition of the ' slum ' population of 
our large cities. Any system which helped to restore these physic- 
ally degraded people to a more vigorous state of mind and body would, 
to say the least of it, have a high economic value. By the adoption 
of any form of compulsory military training, whether it be that of 
the Commission's Report or other more simple plans, we should be 
able to pass every individual under review, exercise control over him 
at a critical period of his life, with the result that many depressing 
social problems, which at present we are afraid to tackle, would find 


a comparatively easy solution. Some such change would seem to be 
called for in the interests of public health and national efficiency, 
even if it were not necessary for purposes of national defence. 

So far as the employers of this country are concerned, all the 
evidence goes to prove that the larger and more intelligent of them 
would welcome a rational system of military training. No class is 
in a better position to appreciate the importance of physical vigour 
and an alert habit of mind on the part of all classes engaged in industry. 
Forty years ago Sir Joseph Whit worth, with unrivalled experience, 
wrote : ' The labour of a man who has gone through a course of military 
drill is worth eighteen pence a week more than that of one untrained, 
as through the training received in military drill men learn ready 
obedience, attention, and combined action, all of which are so necessary 
in work where men have to act promptly and together.' The informa- 
tion supplied by the Inspector-General of Recruiting with regard to 
the physical fitness of those who present themselves for admission 
into the Army is quite as interesting to the employer of labour as it 
is to the soldier. Each has to deal with the same material, though for a 
different purpose the one for the defence of our national trade, the 
other for the defence of our imperial territories. The very high per- 
centage of those willing to enlist in our large cities, who are rejected 
on account of their lack of stamina and other physical defects, is as 
disquieting and painful a subject for reflection to the patriotic employer 
as to the soldier. 

All classes of employers would very properly insist that any system 
adopted should be entirely democratic in its character and should be 
of universal application. What they would resent and resist is a law 
which exposed them to the unfairness and caprice of the ballot, which 
might by pure chance deprive one employer of a large proportion of 
the younger members of his staff, while it left a neighbour and 
perhaps rival practically untouched. 

With regard to the dislocation of industrial life which many people 
fear, it must be remembered that it is only at the outset that its effects 
would, if ever, be severely felt. Any plan likely to be adopted in this 
country would only come gradually into effect. The practice of 
carrying out national measures upon a local basis would, no doubt, 
be followed in military training exactly as it is in education. Our 
industries would speedily adapt themselves to the new conditions, 
just as they have adapted themselves to the successive shortening of 
the hours of labour and the increasing stringency of the Factory Acts. 
We see no decrease of industrial efficiency in France or Germany, and 
no serious annual dislocation of business through the action of a military 
system far more penetrating and disturbing than anyone would dream 
of suggesting for this country. Employers and employed have 
accepted it as a condition of life like any other, and have moulded 
their business arrangements to meet its requirements. And so it 


would be here. It is impossible to suppose that our industrial organisa- 
tion is so delicately poised that it could not stand readjustments 
which have been found entirely innocuous in other countries. 

Much of the prejudice which exists amongst us against compulsory 
military training is due to misconceptions and to well-worn traditions 
with regard to the evil consequences of conscription and barrack life. 
The use of the word ' conscription ' has really confused and prejudged 
the question. It is indeed a curious instance of the tyranny of a word. 
As a matter of fact, there need be no question of conscription in these 
islands. It is a system which foreign countries have found themselves 
compelled to adopt, but there is no reason why any plan of ours should 
conform to the prevalent Continental type. There is, on the contrary, 
every reason why it should not. 

The problem which at present confronts us differs fundamentally 
from that with which our neighbours have had to deal. To them 
the problem is entirely military. They require a nation trained to 
arms to resist foreign invasion. Military training and military service 
are one and the same thing, and every trained man belongs to the 
national army. Conscription and life in barracks are essential parts 
of the system. With us the problem is partly educational, partly 

We need to train our young men in order to raise the level of physical 
fitness of the nation for the ordinary avocations of life, as well as to 
prepare them to take part in the defence of their country, if occasion 
should arise ; but though all would receive a measure of military 
training, all would not serve. 

With our army voluntarily enlisted for oversea service and for 
foreign expeditions, and with our fleet as the first line of home defence, 
we have no use for the vast number of men which conscription would 
bring to the colours. We do, however, need behind our permanent 
forces a nation so far trained to arms and accustomed to discipline 
as to constitute a great reserve, which can be largely relied upon for 
home defence, and to which we can confidently appeal in times of 
crisis for any number of volunteers for foreign service. 

I see no reason why this preliminary military training of the 
nation should not be effected without any serious disturbance of our 
existing industrial system, and without incurring any of the objections 
which can be brought against conscription. 

The problem can probably be approached most safely and with 
the best chance of success from the educational side. The principle 
of compulsion has been accepted with regard to education, and the 
public mind has become accustomed to it. We should, I think, follow 
the line of least resistance by grafting military training upon our 
existing educational system, instead of starting from a new point of 

My proposal is briefly as follows : Military or naval training 


should be made compulsory for every able-bodied youth between the 
ages of, say, fifteen and nineteen, as a branch of or as a continuation 
of ordinary education. In working out the details existing educa- 
tional machinery should be closely followed. Military training would 
rank as an additional branch beside elementary, secondary, and 
technical education, being most nearly allied, by its compulsory 
character, to elementary education. The duty of carrying out the 
law should be imposed upon the local authority the county or borough 
council acting through a special committee appointed ad hoc, whose 
duty it would be to furnish, out of funds provided from imperial 
sources, all the necessary expenses for instructors, drill-grounds, and 
possibly accoutrements and ranges. The committee would see to 
the enforcement of the law, and for that purpose would have in its 
service drill attendance officers, just as the present authorities employ 
school attendance officers. The War Office would either act alone or 
would co-operate with the Board of Education in drawing up, and 
from time to time revising, the scheme of military training and in pro- 
viding probably from the district headquarters the necessary staff of 
drill instructors and inspectors. The whole system would rest upon a 
purely local basis, like any other branch of education. All lads, until 
they attained the age of nineteen and reached a fixed standard of 
efficiency, would have to submit to the prescribed course of training 
in the locality where they for the time being happened to be. This 
would not cause any serious disturbance to industrial life, and could 
probably be carried out in the case of the vast mass of the population 
during the abundant leisure which is now at the disposal of all classes. 
If any difficulty should arise, in order to meet it, there would be little 
objection to a further slight shortening of the legal hours during which 
' young persons ' may be employed. 

It is not contended that this plan would solve any of our purely 
military problems ; but if rigorously carried out it would contribute 
decisively to the physical regeneration of our people, and would 
speedily provide an abundance of raw material from which military 
experts should be able to build up adequately the defences of the 
Empire. Moreover, by accustoming boys to martial exercises and 
military discipline it would make the Army a more popular career 
for the many adventurous spirits our race will always produce, and 
would thereby set a limit to the chronic difficulty of recruiting for 
the Regular Forces. 




' IT is a well-known characteristic of mankind to despise what they 
do not know. For this reason the Japanese, until quite recently, 
looked down upon foreigners as barbarians. But the foreigners dis- 
play the same mental attitude which formerly distinguished the 
Japanese. They do not know what to them is a foreign country 

It is a good many years ago since Fukuzawa Yukichi, perhaps 
the foremost Japanese educationalist of modern times, wrote these 
words, and since then the world has learned to respect and to admire 
Japan for her splendid achievements in every province of human 
activity. But the world still believes that the reform of Japan is a 
thing of yesterday, a mushroom growth which has sprung up over- 
night, and which, as we are told, may disappear as suddenly as it 
came when ' the Asiatic ' reasserts himself, tears up his European 
clothes, like the monkey in the fable, and returns to his native ways. 

In reality, the foundation on which the magnificent edifice of 
modern Japan has been erected with marvellous skill and unparalleled 
rapidity was laid at a time when Europe was still in swaddling clothes, 
and successive generations have added stone by stone to the building, 
which, with the adaptation of European civilisation, received its 
natural completion. The rise of modern Japan may seem like a fairy 
tale to the superficial observer in Europe or America, but to the 
Japanese themselves the reform of their country appears natural in 
view of its history, character, and traditions. 

If we wish to understand how and why Japan succeeded in carrying 
out perhaps the most marvellous reformation which any empire has 
ever effected, in order to gauge what are her aims and what her future 
will be, we must study her progress and her reformation from Japanese 
sources. Such study will reveal the fact that Europe and America 
can now learn quite as much from Japan as she has learned from 
them in the past. 

Twenty years ago, when Japan seemed, in European eyes, no 
greater than Siam or Liberia, Fukuzawa Yukichi said : 

Though we learned the art of navigation during the last twenty years, it is 
neither within the last twenty years, nor within the last 200 years, that we 
cultivated and trained our intellect so as to enable us to learn that art. That 


continued training is characteristic of Japanese civilisation, and can be traced 
back hundreds and thousands of years, and for that continuity of effort we ought 
to be thankful to our ancestors. 

We have never been backward or lacking in civilisation and progress. What 
we wanted was only to adapt the outward manifestations of our civilisation to 
the requirements of the time. Therefore, let us study not only navigation, but 
every other branch of European knowledge and civilisation, however trifling it 
may be, and adopt what is useful, leaving alone what is useless. Thus shall we 
fortify our national power and well-being. 

On the great stage of the world, where all men can see, we mean to show 
what we can do, and vie with other nations in all arts and sciences. Thus 
shall we make our country great and independent. This is my passionate desire. 

Fukuzawa Yukicbi and the other great reformers of his time have 
now succeeded in carrying out their ardent ambition, and have raised 
their country to the eminent position in the world which is its due. 
Now let us take a rapid glance at old Japan, and then watch its trans- 
formation and modernisation. 

The early history of Japan is wrapped in obscurity, but from the 
fact that the present Emperor comes from a dynasty which, in un- 
broken succession, has governed the country for more than 2,500 years, 
we may assume that the Japanese were a politically highly organised, 
well-ordered, and, therefore, a highly cultured people centuries before 
the time of Alexander the Great. Seven centuries before Christ 
Japan was already a seafaring nation, for Japanese ships went over 
to Corea. In the year 86 B.C. the Emperor Sujin had the first census 
of the population taken, and in 645 the Emperor Kotoku ordered 
that regular census registers should be compiled every six years. In 
Great Britain we find that only in 1801, and after much obstruction 
and opposition, was the first census taken. Japan's first regular 
postal service was established in the year 202, and was perfected in 
later centuries. 

The great renaissance of Japan took place in the seventh and 
eighth centuries, or several hundred years before William the Con- 
queror. Prince Shotoku initiated that period of splendid and universal 
progress. He organised the administrative system of the country, 
and he created that spirit of Japan which combines absolute fear- 
lessness, patriotism, and the keenest sense of personal honour with 
unselfishness, unfailing courtesy, gentleness, and obedience to autho- 
rity. The following rules of political conduct laid down by the Prince 
during a time of disorder have been, and still are, the Ten Com- 
mandments of the Japanese, and were spoken of as The Constitution : 

. . . Concord and harmony are priceless ; obedience to established principles 
is the first duty of man. But in our country each section of people has its own 
views, and few possess the light. Disloyalty to Sovereign and parents, disputes 
among neighbours, are the results. That the upper classes should be in unity 
among themselves, and intimate with the lower, and that all matters in dispute 
should be submitted to arbitration that is the way to place Society on a basis 
of strict justice. 


Imperial edicts must be respected. The Sovereign is to be regarded as the 
heaven, his subjects as the earth .... so the Sovereign shows the way, the 
subject follows it. Indifference to the Imperial edicts signifies national ruin. 

Courtesy must be the rule of conduct for all ministers and officials of the 
Government. Social order and due distinctions between the classes can only 
be preserved by strict conformity with etiquette. 

To punish the evil and reward the good is humanity's best law. A good deed 
should never be left unrewarded or an evil unrebuked. Sycophancy and dis- 
honesty are the most potent factors for subverting the State and destroying the 

To be just, one must have faith. Every affair demands a certain measure of 
faith on the part of those who deal with it. Every question, whatever its nature 
or tendency, requires for its settlement an exercise of faith and authority. 
Mutual confidence among officials renders all things possible of accomplishment ; 
want of confidence between sovereign and subject makes failure inevitable. 

Anger should be curbed and wrath cast away. The faults of another should 
not cause our resentment. 

To chide a fault does not prevent its repetition, nor can the censor himself 
be secure from error. The sure road to success is that trodden by the people in 

Those in authority should never harbour hatred or jealousy of one another. 
Hate begets hate and jealousy is blind. 

The imperative duty of man in his capacity of a subject is to sacrifice his 
private interest to the public good. Egoism forbids co-operation, and without 
co-operation there cannot be any great achievement. 

These lines, which were written about 600 A.D. , or thirteen hundred 
years ago, and which have the sublime ring of inspiration about them, 
explain the mystery of the Japanese character better than a lengthy 
account of Japan's history, philosophy, and customs. When we re- 
member that these principles have continuously been taught in Japan 
during more than forty generations, we can understand the character 
and spirit of the country, to which it owes its magnificent successes. 
When we read these lines we can realise that Fukuzawa Yukichi's 
claim to an old civilisation was not a hollow boast, and we can com- 
prehend why the passionate ambition to elevate their country animates 
every thinking Japanese from the prince to the peasant. These 
guiding principles show us the moral and mental foundation of Japan, 
and enable us to understand why the Japanese officials are the flower 
of the nation, why class jealousy is absent in Japan, and why Japan 
is the only country in the world where, regardless of birth, wealth, 
and connections, all careers and the very highest offices in the land 
are open to all comers. 

These principles of political conduct, which might have been 
drawn up by a Lycurgus or a Solon, explain the wonderful unity of 
purpose, courage, self-reliance, self-discipline, homogeneity, and pat- 
riotism of the Japanese nation which at present astonish the world ; 
and it seems that Japan owes her greatness and success less to the 
superior will-power and to the inborn genius of the individual Japanese 
than to the traditional education of the character of the nation, in 


which the educational ideas of Athens and Sparta are harmoniously 
blended. British education rightly attaches great weight to the 
formation of character, but it would seem that British educationalists, 
in the highest sense of the word, can learn more from Japan than 
from the United States and Germany, where education is principally 
directed towards the advancement of learning and the somewhat 
indiscriminate distribution of knowledge. 

In olden times, when communications were exceedingly bad, the 
various centres of original culture existing in the world were separated 
from one another by such vast distances that each highly cultured 
country naturally thought itself the foremost country of the universe, 
considered the inhabitants of other nations as barbarians, refused to 
learn from them, became self-concentrated, rigidly conservative, and 
at last retrogressive. We find this narrow-minded, though explicable, 
attitude of haughty contempt for all foreign culture, which finally 
results in the inability to adopt a superior civilisation and organisa- 
tion, in Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, Palestine, Greece, China, and many 
other ancient countries. 

To the ever-victorious men of old Japan, also, their country was 
naturally the centre of the universe ; it was created by the gods them- 
selves, and their Emperor was the Son of Heaven, being a direct 
descendant of the great Sun-goddess. But national self-consciousness 
and self-admiration never became so overwhelmingly strong as to 
obscure Japan's open mind. On the contrary, the Japanese were 
always ready to learn from other countries, and to graft foreign 
culture on to their own. From conquered Corea Japan introduced 
Buddhism, and from the Chinese she learned much in literature, 
philosophy, and art. In the year 195 the Chinese species of silkworm 
was brought into the country, and later on silk- weavers from various 
districts of China were introduced and distributed all over Japan to 
teach the inhabitants the art of silk-weaving. In 805 Denkyo Daishi 
introduced tea plants in a similar manner. Evidently Japan was 
ever ready and anxious to learn from the foreigner all that could be 
learned, and to adapt, but not to slavishly copy, all that could benefit 
and elevate the nation. 

Up to a few hundred years ago European civilisation was un- 
known in Eastern Asia. Largely owing to the influence of Buddhism, 
Japan had been permeated with Chinese literature and Chinese ideas, 
and had come to consider Chinese culture in many respects superior 
to her own. Therefore it was not unnatural that, in the sixteenth 
century, when Portuguese missionaries caused a widespread revolt, 
Japan resolved to close, more sinico, the country against all foreign 
intercourse. From 1638 to 1853, or for more than two hundred years, 
Japan led a self-centred existence far away from the outer world, like 
the sleeping beauty of the fairy tale ; but in the latter year she was 
waked out of her self-chosen seclusion by the arrival of Commodore 


Perry and his squadron, who. to the amazement of Japan, had come 
to wring a commercial treaty from the country, and to open it, if 
necessary by force, to the hated foreigners. 

Japan had considered herself safe from the contact of foreigners, 
and inviolable. The intrusion of Commodore Perry was, in the eyes 
of all Japan, a crime and almost a sacrilege. The sanctity of the 
country had been denied, its laws had been set at defiance, and the 
Government had no power to resist the Commodore, who used veiled 
threats of employing force. The feeling of national honour, which is 
stronger in Japan than in any other country, was deeply outraged, 
and the passionately patriotic nation was shaken to its base with 
violent indignation. 

Nothing can give a better idea of the indescribable excitement and 
turmoil which was caused by Commodore Perry's intrusion than the 
vivid account of Genjo Yume Monogatari, a contemporaneous writer. 
He says : 

It was in the summer of 1853 that an individual named Perry, who called 
himself the envoy of the United States of America, suddenly arrived at Uraga, 
in the province of Sagami, with four ships of war, declaring that he brought a 
letter from his country to Japan, and that he wished to deliver it to the Sove- 
reign. The Governor of the place, Toda Idzu No Kami, much alarmed by this 
extraordinary event, hastened to the spot to inform himself of its meaning. The 
envoy stated, in reply to questions, that he desired to see a chief minister in 
order to explain the object of his visit, and to hand over to him the letter with 
which he was charged. The Governor then despatched a messenger on horse- 
back with all haste to carry this information to the Castle of Yedo, where a 
great scene of confusion ensued on his arrival. Fresh messengers followed, and 
the Shogun lyeyoshi, on receiving them, was exceeding troubled, and summoned 
all the officials to a council. 

At first the fear seemed so sudden and so formidable that they were too 
alarmed to open their mouths, but in the end orders were issued to the great 
clans to keep strict watch at various points on the shore, as it was possible that 
the ' barbarian ' vessels might proceed to commit acts of violence. 

Presently a learned Chinese scholar was sent to Uraga, had an interview 
with the American envoy, and returned with the letter, which expressed the 
desire of the United States to establish friendship and intercourse with Japan, 
and said, according to this account, that if they met with a refusal they should 
commence hostilities. 

Thereupon the Shogun was greatly distressed, and again summoned a 
council. He also asked the opinion of the Daimios. The assembled officials 
were exceedingly disturbed, and nearly broke their hearts over consultations 
which lasted all day and all night. 

The nobles and retired nobles in Yedo were informed that they were at 
liberty to state any ideas they might have on the subject, and, although they all 
gave their opinions, the diversity of propositions was so great that no decision 
was arrived at. 

The military class had, during a long peace, neglected military arts ; they 
had given themselves up to pleasure and luxury, and there were very few who 
had put on armour for many years, so that they were greatly alarmed at the 
prospect that war might break out at a moment's notice, and began to run 
hither and thither in search of arms. The city of Yedo and the surrounding 
villages were in a great tumult. And there was such a state of confusion among 


all classes that the Governors of the city were compelled to issue a notification 
to the people, and this in the end had the effect of quieting the general anxiety. 
But in the Castle never was a decision further from being arrived at, and, 
whilst time was being thus idly wasted, the envoy was constantly demanding 
an answer. 

Commodore Perry happened to arrive at a most critical period in 
the history of Japan. Since 1192 the formerly subordinate military 
class had seized the reins of government, and the Shogun, who was 
supposed to be only the generalissimo of Japan, and who was 
appointed by the Mikado, had possessed himself of all political power. 
The Mikado was the nominal ruler of the country, but, though he was 
treated with the greatest respect, was in reality a prisoner in his 
palace at Kyoto. The country was divided into numerous principali- 
ties, which were more or less independent. Japan was an empire 
in name, but no longer an empire in fact. Thus the land was ruled 
by a number of great feudal chiefs, who were supported by their 
armed retainers, the samurai, the soldier caste of Japan. The 
autonomous territories of the great nobles were ruled on different 
principles they possessed their own laws, finances, and regulations. 
There was consequently, perhaps, less unity in Japan then than there 
is at present in China. 

In the absence of a powerful centralising influence, the country 
had become divided against itself : the formerly unquestioned authority 
of the Shogun had been shaken and gravely compromised, the nobles 
were intriguing for power, the people were arbitrarily and harshly 
treated, feudalism felt the ground heave and give way under its feet. 

The numerous Daimios, the great feudal lords of old Japan, were 
generous patrons of literature and art, and strove to make their 
residences not only seats of power, but also centres of learning. From 
these learned circles the ultimate revolt against the Shogun' s usurpa- 
tion took its beginning. In 1715 the Prince of Mito finished, 
with the assistance of a host of scholars, his great work, Dai Nihon 
Shi, or history of Japan. This classical work was copied by hand by 
industrious students and eager patriots, and was circulated throughout 
the Empire, being printed only in 1851. It is characteristic for the 
spirit of intense and reflective patriotism of Japan that this celebrated 
compilation, which gave an account of the decay of the Mikado's 
power and of the usurpation by the Shoguns, became the strongest 
factor in the eventual overthrow of the Shogunate, in the re-esta- 
blishment of the Mikado's power, and in the unification of the Empire. 

The history by the Prince of Mito was followed by a history of 
the usurpation period by the celebrated scholar, poet, and historian, 
Rai Sanyo, who attacked with historic proof, unanswerable logic, and 
patriotic fervour the Shogun's usurpation of the Imperial power. He 
traced the history of Japan and the Imperial House, and mourned 
the disappearance of the true Imperial power. The influence of his 

VOL. LVI Kb. 329 D 


writings was enormous, and not a few of his disciples became men of 
action, who carried out their master's ideas. Thus the Mikado's 
party found a strong and growing support among the intellectual 

The body of malcontent idealists and students was reinforced by 
the large body of devout Shintoists, who see in the Mikado their god, 
and the fountain of all virtue, honour, and authority. Shintoism, 
which had been lying dormant for a long time, experienced a wonderful 
revival, and became again a living faith. Consequently it was only 
natural that the adherents to Japan's native religion were outraged 
when they were told that the Mikado had been ousted from power 
and was practically a prisoner. 

Thus disorder within the country was added to the danger 
threatening from without. While the conscience of the people was 
awaking to the ancient wrong done to the Mikado and clamouring 
for its redress by reinstating him in power, Japanese patriotism in- 
stinctively felt the need of uniting the nation against the insolent 
foreigner, and added force to the growing movement towards national 
unity and towards the reinstallation of the legitimate ruler. 

Under these circumstances it was only natural that the ferment of 
the nation was greatly increased by the behaviour of the insolent 
foreigners, and by their to Japanese minds outrageous demands, 
and the national feeling rose to fever heat when it was discovered that 
the Shogun had, in spite of the remonstrance of the Mikado, con- 
cluded the treaty of 1854, whereby the country was opened to foreign 
trade, merely in order to get rid of the troublesome and dreaded 
foreigners at any price. 

From 1854 onward the problem whether the foreigners should be 
exterminated or tolerated was uppermost in men's minds, and, as the 
majority of the nation was in favour of expelling the barbarians, the 
position of the unfortunate Shogun, who had concluded the treaty 
without the Mikado's consent, became one of very great difficulty. 
During this period of national agitation and perturbation the Mikado 
issued a rescript, in which he said : ' L Amity and commerce with 
foreigners brought disgrace on the country in the past. It is desir- 
able that Kyoto and Yedo should join their strengths and plan the 
welfare of the Empire.' This idea rapidly became universal, and led 
to the rallying cry of the people, which rang from one end of the 
Empire to the other : ' Destroy the Shogunate and raise the Mikado 
to his proper throne.' 

The hatred towards the foreign intruders became more and more 
accentuated as time passed on. Europeans were murdered without 
provocation, and the guns on the coast opened fire on foreign ships, 
regardless of their nationality, when they passed by. These attacks 
led to the bombardment of Kagoshima on the llth August, 1863, 
and to that of Shimonoseki on the 5th September, 1864. Though the 


Japanese on land bravely tried to defend themselves, they found 
their weapons unavailing against the superior armaments of the 
foreign ships. 

The effect of the two bombardments on the mind of Japan may best 
be gathered from the following memorandum of a native chronicler : 

The eyes of the Prince were opened through the fight of Kagoshima, and 
affairs appeared to him in a new light ; he changed in favour of foreigners, and 
thought now of making his country powerful and of completing his armaments. 

The Emperor also wrote in a rather pathetic tone to the Shogun : 

I held a council the other day with my military nobility, but, unfortunately, 
inured to the habits of peace which for more than 200 years has existed in our 
country, we are unable to exclude and subdue our foreign enemies by the for- 
cible means of war. ... If we compare our Japanese ships of war and cannon 
with those of the barbarians, we feel certain that they are not sufficient to in- 
flict terror upon the foreign barbarians and are also insufficient to make the 
splendour of Japan shine in foreign countries. I should think that we only 
would make ourselves ridiculous in the eyes of the barbarians. 

The damage done by the bombardments was, after all, insigni- 
ficant, and if Japan had possessed the spirit of China, the officials might 
easily have explained away these attacks as being unimportant and 
purely local affairs. However, the proud mind of Japan required no 
further humiliation to drive home the lesson, but immediately realised 
that the time of seclusion, conservatism, and feudalism was past, and 
that the nation's salvation could only henceforward be found in pro- 
gress and unity. As Professor Toyokichi lyenaga put it : 

Those bombardments showed the necessity of national union. Whether she 
would repel or receive the foreigner, Japan must present a united front. To 
this end a great change in the internal constitution of the Empire was needed. 
The internal resources of the nation had to be gathered into a common treasure, 
the police and the taxes had to be recognised as national, not as belonging to 
petty local chieftains, the power of the feudal lords had to be broken, in order to 
reconstitute Japan as a single strong State under a single head. These are the 
ideas which led the way to the Restoration of 1868. Thus the bombardments 
of Kagoshima and Shimonoseki may be said to have helped indirectly in the 
Restoration. . . . 

When a country is threatened with foreign invasion, when the corporate 
action of its citizens against the enemy is needed, it becomes an imperative 
necessity to consult public opinion. In such a time centralisation is needed. 
Hence the first move of Japan after the advent of foreigners was to bring the 
scattered parts of the country together and unite them under one head. Japan 
had hitherto no formidable foreign enemy on her shores, so her governmental 
system, the regulating system of the social organism, received no impetus for 
self -development ; but as soon as a formidable people, either as allies or foes, 
appeared on the scene in 1858, we immediately see the remarkable change in the 
State system in Japan. It became necessary to consult public opinion. Councils 
of Kuges (nobles belonging to the Court of the Mikado) and Daimios (indepen- 
dent nobles) and meetings of Samurai sprang forth spontaneously. 

Recognising that the reconstitution of the country, its reunion, 
and the re-establishment of the rule of the Mikado were absolute 


necessities for the continued independent existence of Japan, the 
Shogun, the virtual ruler of the country, whose predecessors had 
governed Japan for hundreds of years, took a step which is almost 
unprecedented in history. Placing the welfare of his country high 
above the glorious traditions of his House, and waiving the historical 
claims to his exalted position which he possessed, the Shogun resigned 
his office on the 19th November, 1867, in a document which should 
for ever and to all nations be a monument of sublime patriotism. In 
this document he said : 

A retrospect of the various changes through which the Empire has passed 
shows us that after the decadence of the monarchical authority power passed 
into the hands of the Minister of State; that by the wars of 1156 to 1159 the 
governmental power came into the hands of the military class. 

My ancestor received greater marks of confidence than any before him, and 
his descendants have succeeded him for more than 200 years. Though I 
performed the same duties, the objects of government have not been attained 
and the penal laws have not been carried out ; and it is with a feeling of the 
greatest humiliation that I find myself obliged to acknowledge my own want of 
virtue as the cause of the present state of things. Moreover, our intercourse 
with foreign Powers becomes daily more extensive, and our foreign policy cannot 
be pursued unless directed by the whole power of the country. 

If, therefore, the old regime be changed and the governmental authority be 
restored to the Imperial Court ; if the councils of the whole Empire be collected 
and their wise decisions received, and if we are united with all our heart and 
all our strength to protect and maintain the Empire, it will be able to range 
itself with the nations of the earth. This comprises our whole duty towards our 

This simple declaration is as manly, straightforward, and wholly 
admirable as the following verbal explanation of his step which the 
Shogun gave to Sir Harry Parkes and the French Minister. He said : 

I became convinced last autumn that the country would no longer be 
successfully governed while the power was divided between the Emperor and 
myself. ... I therefore, for the good of my country, informed the Emperor that 
I resigned the governing power with the understanding that an assembly of 
Daimios shall be convened for the purpose of deciding in what manner and by 
whom the government should be carried on in the future. 

In acting thus I sank my own interests and abandoned the power handed 
down to me by my ancestors in the more important interests of the country. . . . 
In pursuance of this object I have retired from the scene of dispute instead of 
opposing force by force. ... As to who is the Sovereign of Japan, this is a 
question on which no one in Japan can entertain a doubt. The Emperor is the 

My object has been from the first to obey the will of the nation as to the 
future government. If the nation should decide that I ought to resign my 
powers, I am prepared to resign them for the good of the country. ... I had 
no other motive than the following : With an honest love for my country and 
people, I resigned the governing power which I inherited from my ancestors 
with the understanding that I should assemble all the nobles of the Empire to 
discuss the question disinterestedly, and, adopting the opinion of the majority, 
which decided upon the reformation of the national constitution, I left the 
matter in the hands of the Imperial Court. 


Thus the 'question whether the Mikado or the Shogun should be 
supreme was not decided by civil war, as might have been expected, 
but by the self-sacrifice of patriotism. 

The Mikado accepted the resignation of the Shogun, and with 
the disappearance of the latter from power the chief obstacle to 
Japan's unification and modernisation was removed. A government 
was formed by the Mikado, and its first active step was a memorial 
to the Throne, which is so remarkable for its enlightenment and which 
is so important for the whole development of Japan that it seems 
necessary to quote a part of it. That interesting manifesto, which 
most clearly illustrates the mind of Japan and which brings the 
fundamental differences between that country and China into the 
strongest relief, says : 

.... It causes us some anxiety to feel that we may perhaps be following the 
bad example of the Chinese, who, fancying themselves alone great and worthy 
of respect and despising foreigners as little better than beasts, have come to suffer 
defeats at their hands and to have it lorded over themselves by those foreigners. 

It appears to us, therefore, after mature reflection, that the most important 
duty we have at present to perform is for high and low to unite harmoniously 
in understanding the conditions of the age, in effecting a national reformation, 
and commencing a great work; and that for this reason it is of the greatest ne- 
cessity that we determine upon the attitude to be observed towards this question. 

Hitherto the Empire has held itself aloof from other countries and is 
ignorant of the force of the world; the only object set has been to give ourselves 
the least trouble, and by daily retrogression we are in danger of falling under a 
foreign rule. 

By travelling to foreign countries and observing what good there is in them, 
by comparing their daily progress, the universality of intelligent government, 
of a sufficiency of military defences and of abundant food for the people among 
them, with our present condition, the causes of prosperity and degeneracy may 
plainly be traced. . . . 

In order to restore the fallen fortunes of the Emperor and to make the 
Imperial dignity respected abroad, it is necessary to make a firm resolution and 
to get rid of the narrow-minded notions which have prevailed hitherto. 

We pray that the important personages of the Court will open their eyes 
and unite with those below them in establishing relations of amity in a single- 
minded manner, and that, our deficiencies being supplied with what foreigners 
are superior in, an enduring government be established for future ages. Assist 
the Emperor in forming his decision wisely and in understanding the condition 
of the Empire; let the foolish argument which has hitherto styled foreigners 
dogs and goats and barbarians be abandoned ; let the Court ceremonies, hitherto 
imitated from the Chinese, be reformed, and the foreign representatives be 
bidden to Court in the manner prescribed in the rules current amongst all 
nations ; and let this be publicly notified throughout the country, so that the 
ignorant people may be taught in what light they are to regard this subject. 
This is our most earnest prayer, presented with all reverence and humility. 

Happily, the Mikado himself saw the necessity for reform and 
progress. Had he been a man of ordinary ability, had he not been 
aided by a group of enlightened and far-seeing statesmen, he might have 
rested satisfied with regaining, by the force of circumstances, the 


power which his ancestors had lost centuries ago. He would have 
continued a rule of absolutism, and he would merely have tried to 
raise the defensive power of the country sufficiently to allow Japan 
to return to the seclusion to which the people had become accustomed. 
But happily, Mutsu Hito was thoroughly in sympathy with the 
reformers, and on the 17th April, 1869, he took before the Court and 
the Assembly of Daimios the charter oath of five articles, which in 
substance were as follows : 

(1) A deliberative assembly shall be formed, and all measures shall be 
decided by public opinion. 

(2) The principles of social and political science shall be constantly studied 
by both the higher and lower classes of the people. 

(3) Everyone in the community shall be assisted in obtaining liberty of 
action for all good and lawful purposes. 

(4) All the old, absurd usages of former times shall be abolished and the 
impartiality and justice which are displayed in the working of Nature shall be 
adopted as the fundamental basis of the State. 

(5) Wisdom and knowledge shall be sought after in all quarters of the 
civilised world, for the purpose of firmly establishing the foundations of Empire. 

Thus the Mikado identified himself with the cause of reform, 
pledged the nation to progress, and made the success of the move- 
ment towards the modernisation of Japan a certainty. Henceforth 
the whole of the nation strove for progress and enlightenment with 
that passionate will-power and singleness of purpose which is not 
found outside Japan. 

By the voluntary surrender of power on the part of the Shogun, 
the Mikado had been installed, and he had pledged himself to pro- 
gress; but the formidable difficulties remained how to unify and 
modernise a nation which for centuries had been governed by a large 
number of independent princes whose power rested on an immense 
army of Samurai. The problem of abolishing feudalism and mili- 
tarism, which, so far, had formed the groundwork of all government, 
was one of enormous difficulty, for the feudal lords and their Samurai 
considered themselves, naturally, as ' the government ' by tradition 
as well as by right. This apparently formidable question was, how- 
ever, easily settled by the marvellous patriotism of those who held 
power in the land. 

Daimio Akidzuki, President of the Kogisho (the deliberating council 
representing the clans), addressed the following memorial to the Throne : 

. . . The various Princes'have used their lands and their people for their own 
purposes; different laws have obtained in different places ; the civil and criminal 
codes have been different in the various provinces. 

The clans have been called the screen of the country, but in reality they 
have caused its division. Internal relations having been confused, the strength 
of the country has been disunited and diminished. How can our small country 
of Japan enter into fellowship with the countries beyond the sea ? How can 
she hold up an example of a nourishing country ? 


Let those who wish to show their faith and loyalty act in the following manner, 
that they may firmly establish the foundations of Imperial government : ) 

(1) Let them restore the territories which they have received from the 
Emperor and return to a constitutional and undivided country. 

(2) Let them abandon their titles, and under the name of Kuazoko (persons 
of honour) receive such small properties as may suffice for their wants. 

(3) Let officers of the clans abandon that title, call themselves officers of the 
Emperor, receiving the property equal to that which they have held hitherto. 

Let these three important measures be adopted forthwith, that the Empire 
may be raised on a basis imperishable for ages. . . < 

This declaration, which was inspired by the great statesmen of the 
three leading clans, and which breathes a spirit of unselfish patriotism 
that seems almost incredible to the more stolid and the more selfish 
nations of the West, met with universal approval, and the great 
Daimios emulated one another in offering up to the Mikado their 
titles, their position, their lands, and their wealth. The Daimios of 
the West, for instance, said in their memorial : 

Now, when men are seeking for a new government, the great body and the 
great strength must neither be lent nor borrowed. . . . We therefore reverently 
offer up the list of our possessions and men. . . . Let Imperial orders be issued 
for altering and remodelling the territories of the various clans. Let all affairs 
of State, great and small, be directed by the Emperor. 

On the 14th of April, 1869, 118 Daimios, having 1 a revenue of 
12,000,000 kokus of rice, or about 24,000,00$., had agreed to the 
proposed radical restoration. A few months later 241 out of 258 of 
these nobles had resigned their power, and the remaining seventeen, 
who were the only dissentients, soon followed suit. Thus feudalism, 
which had existed in Japan for over eight centuries, voluntarily 
extinguished itself, and patriotism triumphed over selfish interests 
and the love of power. 

The fall of feudalism was marked by the laconic Imperial decree 
of the 29th August, 1871, which simply announced : ' The clans are 
abolished and prefectures are established in their place.' As great an 
event in history has probably never been proclaimed by as short a 

The new era of Japan, which is truly called the ' Meji Era,' the 
era of enlightenment, thus began with acts of noble self-sacrifice by 
the greatest in the land, and the patriotic example of the nobility 
stirred up the country from shore to shore. A feverish desire to sacri- 
fice themselves for their country, a desire which is deeply implanted 
in all Japanese, took hold of the whole population, and when it was 
recognised that the enormous caste of Samurai, the warriors, who 
cost the country about 2,000,000?. per annum, had no room in the 
modern State, patriotism found again the remedy. The army of pro- 
fessional soldiers, who had been taught that the sword was their sole 
and their only means of earning a living, and who disdained ^to earn 
their bread by industry or trade, quietly effaced themselves, sur- 


rendered the larger part of their income, and, without a murmur, 
accepted inglorious poverty in the shape of pensions which amounted 
to but a few pence per day, and which barely kept the men from 

The compensation paid to the nobles for surrendering their lands 
and, with the lands, their incomes to the State, the pensioning of the 
Samurai, and the rearrangement of finances from their local basis to 
an Imperial basis, was an enormous financial transaction of stupendous 
difficulty. The loans raised in connection with this vast national 
reorganisation amounted to no less than 225,514,800 yen, or to the 
truly enormous sum of about 40,000,OOOZ. It speaks volumes for the 
financial strength of the country and for the consummate ability of 
the Japanese financiers that this enormous operation was satisfac- 
torily carried out, and that by 1903 all but the trifling amount of 
23,800,111 yen had been redeemed. 

Many enlightened Japanese shared the opinion of the great educa- 
tionalist, Fukuzawa Yukichi, who fearlessly declared : ' The Govern- 
ment exists for the people, and not the people for the Government ; 
the Government officials are the servants of the people, and the 
people are their employers.' Hence the desire for representative 
government arose in Japan soon after the reformation, though the 
Japanese had hitherto only known government by despotism. Though 
the Japanese people had had no experience whatever of popular 
government, the Mikado and his advisers had so much confidence in 
the good. sense and the patriotism of the nation that they decided 
upon giving the people a share in the government of the country. 
On the 12th October, 1881, the Mikado issued the famous declaration, 
in which he said : 

We have long intended to establish gradually a constitutional form of govern- 
ment. ... It was with this object in view that we established the Senate in 
1875, and authorised the formation of local assemblies in 1878. . . . We there- 
fore hereby declare that we shall establish a Parliament in 1890, in order to 
carry into full effect the determination which we have announced; and we 
charge our faithful subjects bearing our commissions to make in the meantime 
all necessary preparations to that end. 

With the deliberate cautiousness and foresight which is character- 
istic of all Japanese action, the people were, step by step, introduced 
and accustomed to self-government. When the Senate had settled 
down, the local assemblies were created, and when the local assemblies 
had proved their worth, it was announced that ten years hence a 
Parliament should be elected. Thus the leaders of public opinion had 
ample time to prepare the nation for the coming change, and were 
enabled to educate the electorate for their coming duties. 

In consequence of this careful preparation and this wise delay the 
Japanese Parliament has proved a great success. The elections 
cause no excitement, the people record their votes with the full know- 


ledge of their responsibility, and Parliament works with ability and 
decorum. Lengthy speeches are unknown in that assembly, and the 
House gets through an immense amount of work in an incredibly short 
time. Parliamentary peroration and obstruction are practically un- 
known in Japan, though there have been not a few political struggles 
and dissolutions. However, party struggles are confined to domestic 

The reconstitution of the body politic of Japan was crowned on 
the 1st of April, 1890, when the Mikado solemnly promulgated a Con- 
stitution for Japan. Whilst in all other monarchical countries the 
Constitution had to be wrested from an unwilling Sovereign by the 
force, and not infrequently by the violence, of the people, Japan is 
the only country in the world which can boast of a monarch who 
has voluntarily divested himself of a part of his rights, and who has 
by his own free will granted a participation in the government to his 

This short sketch of one of the most remarkable chapters in the 
history of the world clearly proves that Japan's marvellous progress 
and her astonishing change from mediaeval Orientalism to modern 
Western culture is in no way a fact that can cause surprise. 

Though the Japanese are an extremely gifted people, they are, 
individually, probably no more talented than are the inhabitants of 
many other countries. Japan's progress has no doubt been meteoric, 
and her complete adoption of Western culture has certainly been 
startling. But her progress and her transformation appear only 
natural if we remember that Japan is a nation in which everybody, 
from the highest to the lowest, in all circumstances, unflinchingly obeys 
the rule : ' The imperative duty of man in his capacity of a subject 
is to sacrifice his private interests to the public good. Egoism forbids 
co-operation, and without co-operation there cannot be any great 

The individualistic nations of the West in which the interests of 
the nation are only too often sacrificed to the selfish interests of the 
individual, where party loyalty is apt to take precedence over 
patriotism, where ministers, generals, and admirals are rarely ap- 
pointed by merit only, where jobbery occurs even in time of war, 
and where everything is considered permitted that is not actually 
punished by law, will do well to learn from Japan's example, for it 
cannot be doubted that the cause of Japan's greatness and of Japan's 
success can be summed up in the one word patriotism. 




THERE is, perhaps, no country about the womankind of which so 
little is known as of Korea. And one cannot be astonished at 
this fact, as the women themselves have been kept as much shut off 
from contact with the outer world as the peninsula itself has been 
shut off. Not even a medical man is allowed to have access to their 
rooms. The Japanese staff surgeon, Dr. Massano Kaike, tried every- 
thing possible to break down this rigid isolation, but all his endeavours 
proved fruitless. Then he sent for his own wife, and as she found 
less difficulty in obtaining access to the secluded women's apartments, 
he instructed her to find out what was going on within those dwellings. 
The result of this step was that he published the gist of the observa- 
tions made in the International Archive of Ethnography. 

According to what can be read there, it is not at all correct to 
assert, as is often done, that the woman (wife) obtains no considera- 
tion on the part of the man (husband). The fact that he fully knows 
how to value her as the mother of the coming generation shows itself 
clearly in the special care which he bestows on her when he expects 
the birth of a child. 

A rope stretched across the entrance to the house indicates the 
birth of a child. If it is a boy, a piece of coal and a leaf are fastened 
to it ; if it is a girl, nothing is attached to the rope. The Koreans 
have the curious habit of not counting their daughters as members of 
the family at least, not in public. If a father is asked how many 
children he has got, he always gives as answer the number of his sons. 
One can only learn of the existence of a daughter by very particular 
close inquiries. They have special names only up to the age of seven, 
after which they only bear the father's surname, and are henceforth 
known only as daughter, sister, or wife of some man. 

When a child has become able to walk a dog is obtained, even in 
the poorest families, which is carefully trained to follow the child 
everywhere in its little rambles to protect it. Of course, it is not a 
rare occurrence that just the opposite takes place. According to the 
Korean idea, the mental development of the child is helped on by the 


influence of light, and on that account the lamp in the children's 
room is never put out. 

In education the separation between boys and girls takes place in 
the eighth year. The boys then are taught all branches of knowledge 
considered necessary for their future calling, but the education of 
girls in a good family is limited to the study of maxims of morality 
and to the knowledge of the ceremonies in connection with the religious 
cultus of ancestors ; in the huts of the poor people the girls are taught 
only dressmaking and all sorts of needlework. As a matter of fact, 
the women of the lower class are particularly clever in the use of 
the needle. This is easily proved by the garments exhibited in the 
Museum of Ethnography in Berlin, and in the Brussels Museum. The 
embroideries on the silk undergarments are executed with extra- 
ordinary skill. In Berlin there is, among other articles, also one 
of the famous white garments which the Koreans are particularly 
fond of wearing, and which owe their existence to the uncommonly 
long period of mourning for their dead. As the Koreans are obliged 
to dress in white for three years for every case of death, and as once 
three kings died within ten years, by which deaths mourning was 
imposed on the whole nation, the majority of people chose rather to 
dress continually in white in order to avoid the great expenses in- 
volved by a repeated change of clothing. 

The women make these garments, and every time they have to be 
washed they are entirely taken to pieces, and these are beaten for 
hours with a wooden bat in order to obtain the metallic gloss which 
is considered particularly beautiful. In the Berlin Museum there is 
one of these bats, which is made of cedar wood, and in shape is like 
a moderately large wine bottle flattened on one side. 

The Koreans are one of the few races in which the girl is developed 
later than the boy. In consequence the wives are nearly always a 
few years older than the husbands. 

The customs connected with a Korean marriage are as follows : 
The man sends by a friend a written formal request for the hand of 
the girl whom he has chosen, and her family send a written reply. 
If the offer is accepted, there follows an exchange of papers of identity, 
in which particular attention is given to the exact date and hour of 
birth, as they have to fix the day of the calendar which is specially 
favourable and propitious for the intended marriage. On that day 
the place for the ceremony is prepared at the house of the bride under- 
neath the outside entrance staircase. The bridegroom, dressed in the 
proper garments, comes driving or riding, accompanied by his father, 
dismounts outside the gate, and walks, with his face turned to the 
north, to the spot prepared for the ceremony. There the bridegroom, 
in kneeling position, puts down his present for the bride, which con- 
sists of a wild goose, in default of which a carved one can be substi- 
tuted ; he bows twice, retires a short distance, and then stops, with 


his face turned to the west. The reason of the existence of this 
curious present is to be found in a legend which tells how a hunter 
had once shot the male of a wild goose, and had always seen the 
poor goose come back to visit the spot where her mate had been 
killed. This present, therefore, means to intimate the hope and 
expectation that the wife shall show equal faithfulness to her husband, 
and after it has been given the two parties give each other the promise 
of eternal faith by using the following words : ' Now our hair is as 
black as the feathers of the wild goose, but even if it should turn 
white as the fibre of the bulbous root we will still hold together as 
faithfully as we do this day.' 

The bride that day puts on, for the first time in her life, the com- 
plete Korean woman's dress. Her face is powdered, the eyebrows 
are painted black, the lips coloured with safflower. Three hairpins 
with gold birds of paradise adorn the head, covered with a light hat. 
An upper garment of variegated pattern, with purple shoulder-bands, 
and a nether garment of scarlet are held round the waist by a white 
girdle five inches wide. White cuffs covering the hands, white 
stockings, and silk shoes of red, purple, green, or blue, complete the 

With slow steps, supported by three festively dressed waiting- 
women, the bride descends the staircase, steps on to the place pre- 
pared for the ceremony, and stops, with her face covered with the 
fan and turned to the east. She then bows twice to the bridegroom, 
who returns the same compliment. After that, two vessels, one 
adorned with red, the other with blue ribbons, are filled with wine by 
two maidservants and handed by them to the bride and bridegroom. 
They both take a sip at the same time, and this act concludes the 
ceremonial of the wedding. Then they are separately conducted into 
the house. The bridegroom and his father are invited to the banquet, 
at which all the relations of the bride take part. After its conclusion 
the bridegroom drives home to his house, but the bride does not follow 
him till the next propitious calendar day. 

And now begins a life of complete seclusion for the Korean 
wife. She may not show herself to any married man but her own 
husband nay, not even to the other male members of her own 

In former times, as soon as the gates were closed at night, all men, 
especially in Seoul, used to go into their houses, and no man showed 
himself in the darkness of the street, because the ladies of the rich 
classes had the privilege of going out at that time. Deeply veiled, 
with their tiny paper lanterns in their hand, they would glide along 
from house to house to visit their lady friends. But recently this 
custom, which was formerly affirmed by law, has come into disuse. 
Thieves had profited by these nocturnal visits of ladies, and had 
often robbed them of their jewels, and as the police were not able to 


stop the ever-increasing number of such cases, the old custom was 
discontinued altogether. 

Now ladies of the best families, in very rare cases, go out at night 
deeply veiled and accompanied by their husbands. The women of 
the lower classes are sometimes seen in the streets in daytime, but 
also deeply veiled and dressed in green garments with red sleeves, 
which latter are only used to cover the face of the woman. 





* POUR vivre tranquille il faut vivre loin des gens d'eglise,' says a 
witty Frenchman. There is a certain amount of truth in this for 
a particular class of minds. The Church's office is to teach and, in 
her own province, to rule her children ; she does the work of conver- 
sion. But suppose a man enters into that relation with the Church 
which is understood by the term ' becoming a convert,' and then sets 
to work to convert her, it is pretty sure that his life will not be very 
peaceful. There will be friction at every point ; nothing will please 
him ; nothing will be done rightly. From Pope down to curate there 
will be surely something amiss which he will want to set right. So 
the convert finds himself always at loggerheads with his bishops and 
pastors, who object to being thrown out of their office and submitting 
to him as a magistrate and master. ' Suum cuique,' which, being 
interpreted, means, ' Let the cobbler stick to his last.' I have heard 
of a convert who was anxious to know what was his exact position in 
the Church which he felt he had honoured by joining. ' Your exact 
position in the Church ? ' quoth the padre. ' That's easy enough to 
decide. Kneeling before the altar and sitting before the pulpit. 
Some do not realise the lesson that they get more from the Church 
than she does from them. The favour, I hold, is all on her side when 
she receives them into communion and gives them what they cannot 
find elsewhere. Hence it happens that such persons who have failed 
to grasp the first principles of submission to a teacher and ruler, when 
they find that they are not accepted at their own valuation, do one 
of two things. After a period of restiveness they either lapse or 
become that peculiar specimen of humanity a ' bored ' convert. 
Mr. Richard Bagot himself remarks : ' It is not easy to feel religious 
when you are feeling bored.' For such the only remedy ' pour vivre 
tranquille ' is to live far from us ' gens d'eglise.' But when did the 
moth ever forsake the candle when once it had felt the fascination ? 
I will not for a moment say that the laity, hereditary Catholics or 
neophytes, have not got their rights, nor will I say that these rights 
have been, or always are, respected. But this is a very different 
position from that of adopting an attitude of perpetual girding against 


authority. While I have sympathy with any movement which 
seeks by legitimate methods to obtain that recognition of the rights 
of the laity which the Church has always acknowledged, I will have 
nothing to do with the ' bored ' convert except to wish that he would 
take his boredom elsewhere. 

Mr. Richard Bagot has given us his views on the Pope and church 
music, and dignifies them as a ' Roman Catholic protest.' It may be 
as well, before considering these views, to understand Mr. Bagot's 
position. He is the author of several brilliant novels, and from these 
and other writings I gather that a prolonged stay in Rome has had 
its usual effect. A man becomes there, or at least used to become, a 
partisan. He is either white or black and can see no good, nor tolerate 
the idea of there being any good, in the opposite faction. I think 
the position, as a matter of fact, is changing ; and, with the excep- 
tion of extremists on either side, most sensible people are becoming 
grey or piebald. But not so Mr. Bagot. He has evidently thrown 
himself, heart and soul, into the Quirinal party. Therefore we must 
expect to find that his presentments of life among the Vaticanists are 
tinged with the effects of party spirit. Does he want a villain ? The 
blacks supply any number. A hero ? Where should one be found 
but among the whites ? I am not going to say that in either ranks 
heroes or villains might not be found ; but I am of opinion that, as a 
novelist, Mr. Bagot belongs to the school of the late Mrs. Henry Wood, 
who drew an unnatural line of demarcation between good and bad. 
However it appears that Mr. Bagot is a bored convert, so nothing 
the Pope does pleases him. There we must leave it. It is unfor- 
tunate for Pius X., perhaps ; or for Mr. Bagot. I have every wish to 
do my spiriting gently, and I hope that I have not in any way mis- 
represented his position ; but I think it is necessary to make that 
clear before I approach his criticisms. 

We differ fundamentally, I find, on the philosophy of sacred music. 
This is but natural. Mr. Bagot admits that he does not examine the 
matter from the point of view of a musical expert ; he makes the 
wholly unnecessary admission that technical knowledge is wanting in 
his case. And yet, as it is a question which touches upon the pro- 
founder side of the artistic and psychological nature of sacred music, 
why does he so airily write about the ' insult offered to music ' by ' this 
unfortunate and illogical decree ' ? I fear that I shall find abundant 
evidence that the imaginative gift, so valuable to a writer of fiction, 
has stood in the way when he approaches a subject which deals with 
a matter of fact. He has entirely missed the true nature of the ques- 
tion altogether. The spiritual, even the artistic point of view has 
not troubled him at all. He has not taken into consideration the 
elementary fact that music was made for men, not men for music, 
and that the art, if it be a means to a certain end, must logically be 
regulated by that end, and not vice versa. 


Pius X., who is a true artist and, moreover, a practical musician, 
has issued an Instruction on Sacred Music, which he, as head of the 
Church, puts forth as a ' juridical code ' on the subject. After all, he 
is only enforcing, as a strong and sensible ruler will do, existing legis- 
lation. From the days of Gregory I. (604), if not earlier, the Popes 
have issued decrees on the subject and Councils have legislated. In 
the pontificate of Leo XIII. decrees were issued several times on the 
subject ; and this very Instruction is identical with a memorandum 
which Cardinal Sarto sent from Venice to his predecessor. It is also 
to be found in substance in a long circular addressed by the Patriarch 
of Venice to his clergy. The copy before me bears the date of the 1st 
of May, 1895. To hint, as Mr. Bagot does, with a half -veiled sneer at the 
Pope's antecedents, that the Instruction is largely due to the influ- 
ence of Don Perosi is too extravagant an idea for those who know 
the independent and strong character of Pius X. It is rather he who 
discovered and influenced Perosi, and uses him, with other instru- 
ments, for carrying out his will. In determining to enforce the 
Church's legislation the Pope has been so unlucky as to displease 
the novelist, who promptly publishes ' A Roman Catholic Protest.' 
Didn't some sartorial artists, three in number, from over the water, 
Southwark-way, once make a memorable protest or declaration ? 
Mr. Bagot should not emulate these ' representatives of the people of 

I do claim in this matter to write somewhat as a musical expert 
and with technical knowledge, if the facts count for anything 
that more than thirty years ago I began life as a professional musi- 
cian, and in my time have been choirmaster of one of the leading 
churches in London. What are called ' the Masses ' I have sung, 
taught, and conducted times out of number, and there is little of the 
best modern music with which I am not familiar. But, much as I 
love Mozart I take him here only as a type I came to the conclu- 
sion, years ago, that music of this school represents only a distortion 
of the true artistic idea of Church music. Mind, I am speaking only 
of it as the music for worship. If the ideal of the times and places 
where Mozart wrote was a false one, I see no reason why we should 
be obliged to accept it to-day simply because the master composed 
under the adverse influences that surrounded him. 

Let me put it in this way: We must have either the music of 
worship or the worship of music. You must choose one horn of the 
dilemma, and you will be led in your choice by the way you answer 
the question : Is music made for men or men for music ? Surely 
there can be no doubt as to the reply. Music must either be a mere 
melodious vehicle for soul-moving words, or these count for nothing 
and are to be overpowered by the sounds. In this case the com- 
poser, the singer, and the accompaniment will represent the chief 
power in the music of worship. But is not this to make the frame 


more important than the picture, the setting than the jewel ? Or, 
in a more homely phrase, is not this putting the cart before the horse ? 

In the music of worship the true artistic sense demands truth, 
for nothing can be beautiful except it be true ; and truth demands 
that, in this style of music, the words should be paramount and music 
the handmaiden ; for it is in the text that we find life and truth, not 
bound, but quick and powerful. 

Music by itself is vague unless it has associations. Its very vague- 
ness makes it the least material of arts, and, therefore, when properly 
directed, such a valuable help in worship. But this quality is also 
its danger. It may so soon escape control and become a veritable 

Now, I take it that worship is not vague but definite. I cannot 
understand people who hoot and croon at the moon as an act of 
worship to the Unknowable, like Mr. Mallock's Paul and Virginia on 
one memorable night in the Chasuble Islands. No ; for reasonable 
beings a definite idea is required in the act of worship. Hence 
words, uttered or thought, are necessary ; and if there be used that 
subtle influence of a well ordered succession of musical intervals 
which we call melody, either alone or in combination with other 
melodies, it can only rightly be employed to draw out of the soul the 
hidden force and life within the words. How is it that, in so many 
cases, words spoken have less effect than words sung ? What is the 
marvellous power of music to ' raise a mortal to the skies ' ? Read 
a hymn and sing a hymn, and note the psychological difference. The 
simpler the strain the more marked is the increase in pathos, spirit, 
warmth, and love ; the more complex the music the more the mind 
is distracted from the thoughts. In this the senses take the upper 
hand and the definite yields to the vague ; in that reason controls all. 

Regarding, then, the music of worship as a help to prayer, and as 
a means of attaining union with God, we get to the fundamental 
difference which exists between sacred music and all other kinds of 
music. In the act of worship I want a help, not a distraction. The 
true artist will recognise this and will supply the need ; he will not 
thrust upon me something else, beautiful as it may be in its own line, 
which does not suit the end for which it is to be used. If I want 
bread what is the use of giving me a stone ? It is, therefore, from 
the standpoint of worship that the question of sacred music must be 
judged and the dispute between the Sovereign Pontiff and the novelist 

In the Instruction on Sacred Music the Pope lays down certain 
principles for our guidance ; and I can safely leave it to my readers 
to decide who has the real artistic instinct, Pius X. or Mr. Bagot. 
The Pope says : 

Sacred music should possess, in the highest degree, the qualities proper to 
the liturgy, or, in particular, holiness, goodness of form, from which its other 
VOL. LVI No. 329 E 


quality of universality spontaneously springs. (1) It must be ho'y; and 
therefore must exclude all profanity, not only in itself, but in the manner in 
which it is presented by those who execute it. (2) It must be true art ; for 
otherwise it will be impossible for it to exercise on the minds of those who 
listen to it that efficacy which the Church aims at obtaining when admitting 
into her liturgy the art of musical sounds. (3) It must, at the same time, 
be universal, in the sense that while every nation is allowed to admit into 
its ecclesiastical compositions those special forms which may be said to 
constitute its native music, still these forms must be subordinated, in such a 
manner, to the general characteristics of sacred music that no person of any 
nation may receive an impression other than good on hearing them. 

So far for the Pope as an artist. 

Now let me take some of Mr. Bagot's examples. For the moment 
I put out of the question that they come under the Church's ban. 
But, as he judges the matter from what he is pleased to call the 
artistic side, I will take him on his own ground. 

The drinking song from La Traviata was composed by Verdi for 
quite another end than to be played at the most solemn moments of 
Catholic worship. I need not recall the scene nor the subject of the 
opera. To associate such music with the Mass is repulsive to every 
feeling of decency, while to divorce it from its surroundings is, indeed, 
an ' insult offered to music.' Verdi would be the first to protest 
against such a caricature of his conception. Then, ' A Movement,' 
from Bizet's L 1 'Arlesienne, is turned into a Sanctus a hymn which 
recalls the solemn worship of angels round about the Throne. Might 
not Bizet complain : 

This does not represent my idea at all. That melody and those harmonies 
were conceived as illustrating one particular train of thought : they are one 
distinct conception. You have no right to misrepresent me or to vilify me as 
an artist. Were I to undertake to set the angelic hymn to music I should 
approach the task in a very different frame of mind to what I had when 
I penned that part of my opera ? 

Such adaptations are artistic outrages which no self-respecting 
musician would attempt. Such things are done, more's the pity. 
That there were also days when a Mass was patched together from 
Le Nozze di Figaro and another from Don Juan is a curious contribu- 
tion to a study on music and morals. That they do these things in 
Italy is an indication of the degradation of art in that once artistic 
country ; and I will make a present of them to Mr. Bagot, together 
with the paper flowers, tinsel, sham marbles, stucco, and theatrical 
scene-painting which also find favour in that country. For my part, 
I am proud, as a musician, to take my stand by the side of the fear- 
less Pius X., who recalls us to a better sense of true art. We need 
reform here in England as well as elsewhere. 

Mr. Bagot's blunders will perhaps better be recognised when I set 
forth what the Pope really has done. He does not confine us, as one 
would think from Mr. Bagot's article, to the plain song ; he allows 


the classical school, of which Palestrina and our English Byrde are 
the supreme types, and also modern music, provided it contains nothing 
profane. Pius X. is no dreamer of the past. He says : 

The Church has always recognised and favoured the progress of the 
Arts, admitting to the service of worship everything good and beautiful 
discovered by genius in the course of ages always, however, with due regard 
to the liturgical laws. Consequently modern music is also admitted in the 
Church, since it, too, furnishes compositions of such excellence, sobriety, and 
gravity that they are in no way unworthy of the liturgical functions. 

You wouldn't think it, but Pius X. has committed the grave 
artistic error of saying that the music of the Church is one thing and 
the music of the world is another. And he has done worse ; he has 
acted up to his conviction. 

Then, again, the use of an orchestra is not forbidden, but it is 
regulated according to existing laws. For instance : 

The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of 
noisy or frivolous instruments, such as drums, cymbals, bells, and the like. 

A very fair orchestra can be got together without these. I would 
that such a law, as to the piano, had been enforced in Spain when I was 
asked to celebrate a Gild Mass. As soon as I began the service a 
pianist struck up a very cascade of arpeggios, and then treated me 
to a fantasia on Carmen, with other choice morceaux of a strictly non- 
liturgical character. I did not find the Toreador's Song any help to 
devotion ; neither do I fancy that Italians find it in La donna e mobile. 
I must leave Mr. Bagot to enjoy whatever spiritual advantages he 
can gain from listening to the drinking song in La Traviata, or from 
a Mass faked up from U Arlesienne in a London sanctuary ' where a 
shilling is charged for a front seat.' By-the-by, when hearing the 
last-named composition (I use the word in its primitive sense) how, 
from a front seat, could he judge ' by the faces of the members of 
the congregation ' that it was a decided success, not merely artistic, 
but also devotional ? I fear that, on this occasion at least, the ' most 
brilliant style ' of the composition interfered somewhat with his own 
private devotions. I may be wrong. 

The plain song, which Mr. Bagot affirms ' has never been and 
never can be a form of music which evokes answering chords in the 
heart of the vast majority of the laity,' has, however, not only evoked 
the hearty admiration of great musicians (I do not say all parts of 
it), but has also been the staple music in the Church for more than a 
thousand years ; and I don't think, if we take, say, France, or England 
before the Reformation, that it can be said that ' answering chords ' 
were not evoked, nor that men did not find, when before the altar, 
through the plain song, a means of forgetting the cares of the world. 
Go over, for instance, to Normandy or Brittany and listen to-day, 

E 2 


and then judge how far Mr. Bagot is correct in his statements. There 
is nothing like facts to correct fancies. The truth is, as Shakespeare 


The plain song is most just : for humours do abound. 

I can well understand that those who go to our churches ' for the 
gratification of the eyes, the ears, and possibly the nose,' as Mr. Bagot 
puts it, don't care for the plain song. 

Candidly, it is not meant for them nor for bored converts. It is 
meant for those who come to pray. 

Let us have no more vapourings about ' the superficial treatment 
to which the most divine of the arts has been subjected by the authori- 
ties of the Church,' or about a practical ' divorce of religion from its 
highest earthly coadjutor,' or ' of the total want of artistic discrimina- 
tion shown by Pius X. and his advisers.' I find the superficiality, 
the divorce, and the total want of artistic discrimination in Rome, 
indeed, but not at the Vatican ; but at Mr. Bagot's address. 

Again, I read in the article on ' The Pope and Church Music 
some words with which I agree. But let us see how we get on. 

The love of melody is strong in all nationalities and in all classes ; and, in 
the lower classes especially, mere harmony will scarcely supply its place. We 
venture to say that a simple melody, however insufficiently rendered, will 
appeal to the sense of the majority of laymen with greater directness than any 
harmony will ; and that we have yet to learn that the senses are not very 
important factors in any form of religious worship. 

Mr. Bagot has yet to learn a few things. Meanwhile I ask : What, 
is Saul also among the prophets ? No ; for a few lines on I read that 
the plain song is monotonous and lacks melody. To speak of it in 
this way is a curious exhibition. One of my objections against the 
Gallican chant, as restored by the French monks of Solesmes, is its 
over-elaboration. Plain song is anything but monotonous. As for 
lacking melody, why, it is essentially melody and nothing else. It 
is grave, diatonic, pure and simple melody, with rhythm free and 
swinging. It is full of a haunting beauty of an unworldly kind. On 
the other hand, harmony of any sort is alien to it, and even the 
accompaniment of the organ is contrary to its purely vocal and simple 
melodic nature. I grant that to one who seems to accept Verdi's 
drinking song in La Traviata as fitting music to accompany a solemn 
act of worship plain song may not appeal, for it is unworldly in con- 
ception, its ideal is spiritual, and its object is to take men away from 
the busy hum of the world and leave them free and undistracted 
before the altar. Does not liturgy seem to demand a staid and 
solemn diction ? Archaicism, I hold, is one of its most potent charms 
and a great factor. Who would think of mingling slang expressions 
of the day with the matchless music of the Authorised Version of the 
Bible ? If this holds good of the words how much more of the music 


which is intended to invest them with a greater soul-searching and 
heart-lifting power ? 

As plain song is perfect melody and has nothing properly to do 
with harmony, while I accept Mr. Bagot's words I must entirely reject 
his conclusion as being based on a complete misunderstanding of the 
very nature of the plain song itself. 

The final error which in his opinion stamps the Papal edict as 
ill-advised is to the effect that Protestants will be no longer attracted 
to our churches, and that converts will be fewer, and, in fact, that the 
Ritualists will get them all. Well, if that be so, my Anglican friends 
are welcome to all such, for I am old-fashioned enough to prefer 
quality rather than quantity. Some kind of converts, I think, 
would lead a more tranquil life outside the Church altogether. They 
do us no good ; and it is difficult to see where they find happiness or 
how they can ' feel religious when they feel bored.' 

If the effect of the new regulations be, as Mr. Bagot prophesies, to 
lessen the number of visitors who ' are there for the gratification of 
the eyes, the ears, and, possibly, the nose,' I, for one, shall be un- 
feignedly glad, for I have no desire to see our houses of prayer turned 
into concert halls, or the sacred mysteries of our worship made a 
raree show for the stranger within our gates. 

Does the Catholic Church organise her worship for Protestant 
' ears, eyes, and, possibly, noses ' ? Does she even take them into 
consideration ? 

Of course there are those who come to listen and remain to 
pray ; but when we have so much to do to make our own people 
solid Christians we cannot spare the time to go out fishing for whales 
with sprats. And how often does it happen that the fish, when 
caught, turns out to be but a pitiful red herring ! 

If the decree be carried out loyally in this country we shall 
approach more closely to the old Catholic type of musical service 
which has been so largely kept in our national cathedrals a type 
devotional, melodious, sacred, and national withal. 

I cannot imagine the organist of St. Paul's or the Abbey playing 
the drinking song from La Tramata as a voluntary, or arranging an 
anthem out of Bizet's opera. And why should we have a lower 
standard ? 

If at St. Paul's no singer is allowed who is not a communicant, 
why should we, of all folk in the world, be laxer, and evade the 
law ? Why should we admit non-Catholics, who disbelieve in the 
words they sing, to form part of our choirs and exercise what the Pope 
calls ' a real liturgical office ' ? These are anomalies of our present 
situation, and show how necessary is some reform. 

Why, too, I may ask, should costly choirs be kept up for ' the 
e yes, the ears, and possibly the noses ' of the non-Catholics who, 
Mr. Bagot says, form the very large proportion of the congregations, 


when our churches are in debt, our schools in danger of being 
starved, and our clergy, many of them, living in poverty and want ? 

No ; I feel strongly that, thanks to the clear and determined action 
of the Pope, it is now possible for us to get rid of what has been a 
source of real weakness and undoubted disedification. I don't want 
to play to the gallery of the British public, which, after all, will be 
more favourably impressed if we follow a higher ideal than we do 
at present. 

According to Mr. Bagot our people have felt the difficulty, and 
some have solved it in the practical way of leaving the High Mass 
to the stranger. To take away the cause, and, in the words of the 
Pope, to make special efforts 

to restore the use of the Gregorian chant by the people, so that the faithful 
may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case 
in ancient times, 

will result in solid good all round. I would much rather see our 
people standing up and joining in a simple melodious plain song Mass 
than have them sitting down to listen to the soprano roulading up 
the scale or to the basso slowly getting down to his deepest notes. 

These things being so, what are we to think of Mr. Bagot' s con- 
tention that ' the educated portion of the community, whether Roman 
Catholic or Protestant, will openly resent the insult offered to music 
by those responsible for this unfortunate and illogical decree ' ? Those 
who know the nature and object of sacred music will be grateful to 
the Pontiff who has recalled us to the true artistic ideal of the music 
of worship as opposed to the worship of music. 




IN a preface dealing with the causes of the French Revolution (Life 
of Dantori) Belloc refers to the process of remoulding, which is a part 
of living, and which the State as well as the individual must undergo 
as a condition of health. ' What test,' he says, ' can be applied by 
which we may know whether a reform is working towards rectification 
or not ? None except the general conviction of a whole generation 
that this or that survival obstructs the way of right living, the mere 
sense of justice expressed in particular terms on a concrete point. It 
is by this that the just man of any period feels himself bound. . . . This 
much is certain, that where there exists in a State a body of men who 
are determined to be guided by this vague sense of justice, and who 
are in sufficient power to let it frame their reforms, then these men 
save a State and keep it whole. When, on the contrary, those who 
make or administer the laws are determined to abide by a phrase or 
a form, then the necessities accumulate, the burden and the strain 
become intolerable.' That such a ' phrase and form ' is embodied 
in the ' tramp ward,' as it at present exists, it is the object of this 
article to prove, and the reasons why, and directions in which change 
is necessary. 

Let us first take an illustration from change of function within 
the human body. It is well known that we possess within us sur- 
vivals of ancient modes of life. Public attention has recently been 
directed to one such by the peril of the State. ' Appendicitis ' was a 
scarcely noticed disease, among all that flesh is heir to, until it became 
a rather proud distinction to suffer ' like the King.' Since then it is 
surprising how many cases are heard of. Everyone now knows that 
a small tube which represents what in lower animals has a useful 
function, is in the human body a death-trap. It is an illustration of 
the way in which slow change may make the useful positively harmful. 

Let us review swiftly changes in the body politic during the last 
few hundred years, and see whether the tramp ward can possibly 
fulfil the function for which it was originally intended. Time was 
when every Englishman was rooted to the soil. He belonged of right 
to some locality as villein, serf, or lord. The community to which 
he belonged demanded service of him as protector or as toiler. The 
whole of life was framed on the idea of mutual service, combined with 



relationship to the soil. This status still remains in our laws of settle- 
ment. We pay thousands of pounds annually to remove ' Mary 
Browns ' to their parish, in exchange for ' Samuel Smiths ' from 
others, the whole apparatus of removal being a subtraction sum as 
regards the national pocket. ' Survivals ' are always costly. 

Long ago there swept over the feudally organised community the 
wind of change, rearranging the social units. The Black Death 
decimated the population and made labour scarce, and then arose the 
phenomenon of the ' free labourer,' the landless man, who travelled, 
offering his labour for hire, eagerly accepted. At first the chief com- 
plaint was that he required higher pay, and legislation was directed 
to keeping down his wages and re-settling him on the land. He was a 
tramp, but one so useful he could not be dispensed with. 

But by degrees came other movements, due to the introduction of 
manufactures. The art of weaving required wool, and a great diver- 
sion of land from agriculture to sheep-farming took place, and other 
changes set in. The result was a decreased demand for labour. ' The 
landless man ' became a social danger. Unable to support himself, 
he took to beggary or violence, and became ' the waster who will not 
work but wanders about,' the vagabond, the vagrant. Ejected by 
society into freedom, he perversely acquired a taste for it, and bred 
children ' on the road.' Probably most of our vagrants proper are 
his descendants. He was penalised to an extent far beyond what 
modern sentiment would allow, he was pilloried and mutilated, and 
even put to death, but still he increased, to the despair of legislators. 
Why ? Because social conditions were making him faster than he 
was removed. 

We are all familiar with the phenomenon of a boil, abscess, or gather- 
ing. Matter accumulates and increases, having the power of repro- 
duction. As a continual supply is created, it must in some way be 
drawn off before healing can take place ; healthy cells replacing the 
unhealthy ones. Just so in the body politic, unless some effectual 
means are taken to heal a running source of social evil, it festers and 

Fortunately for England she possessed youthful vigour of con- 
stitution. She possessed a government not afraid to attack large 
problems on a large scale, and to create institutions that could effec- 
tually heal. The Poor-law of Elizabeth was a successful attempt to 
deal with social evil. It provided ' work-houses ' for the destitute 
poor. The principle embodied in it was that no man was to be idle. 
The young who were found to be without trade were to be apprenticed 
and instructed by ' masters of handicraft.' The old and feeble were 
to be cared for, vice was to be suppressed, national well-being the 
common-wealth was the end in view. Each man was to be anchored 
to a parish, where under the observation of his fellows he could live 
with every incentive to honest toil. As a matter of fact, distress did 


disappear : the great majority' of the population settled on the land, 
or in thriving industrial communities. There remained only the 
decreasing problem of the vagrant, a heritage from the past. It was 
necessary to deal with the survivors of the class who had acquired a 
taste for vagabondage. All united in regarding them as meriting a 
different and severely repressive treatment. Laws were enacted to 
prevent private persons from giving doles, except ' broken meats.' 
The tramp might receive shelter and a meagre allowance of food in 
return for labour. So much it was impossible to refuse him, because 
the old virtue of hospitality had to a large extent disappeared, and 
monasteries, which used to act as poor men's hostels, had been sup- 
pressed. National sentiment then, as now, could not tolerate a starving 
man. But he must work for what he ate, and for two hundred years, 
until the new era, the old law availed, mainly because there was 
during all this time the slow and steady growth of England's indus- 
trial supremacy. 

It is not my purpose to dwell on the decay of the Poor-law due to 
maladministration. To afford relief gratuitously was easier than 
to provide work. The effective superintendence of labour was 
not understood as well as it is now. Self-interest led men to throw 
on the parish part of the wages of labour, social science as yet being 
not even in its infancy. The Board of Trade inquiry into the unem- 
ployed question gives these three reasons for the failure of the Poor- 
law. They lie at the door of its administrators. 

It would form a most interesting study to correlate the increase 
or decrease of vagrancy to phases of national life, as a sign of diseased 
conditions. The main thing to be noted is that during the last hundred 
years a further change in national arrangements, characterised by 
Arnold Toynbee as ' the Industrial Revolution,' has involved such 
differences in the whole structure of our national life that it would 
be as absurd to expect the old system to meet the need as to expect 
the vermiform appendix to digest for the human body. 

Let us consider on what national well-being depends in the new 
era. It depends on the Fluidity of Labour. We are no longer an 
agricultural and settled people. Modern conditions demand labour 
readily accessible, highly differentiated, and very fluid. That is to 
say, if there is in any place a scarcity of labour, it is desirable that it 
should flow there as speedily as possible. If there is ' demand ' in 
one place and ' supply ' in another, it means often workless, starving 
men, who, if in another locality, could earn their living readily ; con- 
sequently conditions are exactly reversed. What is needed is greater 
fluidity. Anything that by opposing ready transit creates or prolongs 
distress works harmfully. It is said, for instance, that shipbuilding 
is deserting the Thames for the Tyne. Evidently, therefore, the 
solution of London's ' unemployed problem ' lies partially in the 
direction of the transfer of labour to places whither its industries are 


going. Destitute men who have held on to waning employment as 
long as possible must needs migrate to where it is to be found. It 
is most desirable that the migration should be as speedy as possible. 
Thus in place of a national system to prevent migration we need one 
to assist it. Therefore, our present arrangement and regulation of 
the tramp ward is obsolete and harmful. 

This is a sweeping statement, and the conviction has only been 
born of suffering. It has only been reached after encountering the 
full measure of the Government regulations for tramps. An account 
of this experience appeared (May 1004) in the Contemporary Review. 
The system is fitted to produce disablement from ordinary toil. After 
two nights it took me nearly a month to recover my normal vigour. 
lam now convinced that no mere amelioration of conditions is necessary, 
but an entire alteration of our national methods of dealing with 

\ -' --s The word ' wanderers ' is used advisedly. There is a vagrant 
class, the tramp proper. It is above all things desirable that this 
class should not be recruited, either by birth or by the drawing into 
it of the members of other classes. The tramp proper is parasitic 
and preys on the community. But what is there in our present social 
arrangements to prevent his breeding, or the slipping down into 
trampdom of individuals from other ranks ? Our tramp wards give 
us no control over the tramp. Formerly when population was mainly 
stationary he was known as a ' tramp,' now he is indistinguishable 
from the ' out-of-works.' He mixes with the genuine working-man 
' down in his luck,' to the latter's great detriment, and crowds into 
our slums in winter. The tramp proper in our days may fare uncom- 
monly well, it is the genuine working man who suffers. It is easy to 
gain a living in numerous ways if you tell lies and prey on the public, 
or earn a precarious livelihood by hawking. That ' diffused justice,' 
of which Belloc speaks, sees something is wrong and will not refuse 
doles or charity. The supplementing of State provision for destitu- 
tion on every hand by an unorganised system of charity is a state of 
things not to be desired. Yet as a phase in national progress it is 
eminently useful, for it is our English way of developing new organs, 
and testing their use. We put out feelers in different directions, and 
by and by we find they have prepared the way for national institu- 
tions. But the burden of these supplementary institutions is increas- 
ingly felt, and amounts to a second Poor-rate, resting mainly on 
members of society humanitarian in sentiment. Yet even this does 
not avail. Distress accumulates. 

Is it not evident that we face once more the Elizabethan problem 
of a national adaptation of institutions to meet a national need ? 

What helps have we to the right solution of our problem ? Let 
us first examine the direction in which the tramp ward is unfit. We 
may^state that it acts as an incentive to the wrong sort of migration. 


It is altogether misleading to regard it as a provision for destitution. 
The man or woman who sleeps in a tramp ward, who is honestly seek- 
ing employment, needs above everything to be allowed to stay in one 
place sufficiently long to search for work. It is stated by observers- 
in different parts of England, and by the wanderers themselves, that 
the character of the inmates of our tramp wards is changing. It is 
no longer to the same extent the genuine tramp who frequents the 
workhouse. He, unless he is very ' hard up,' can beg or obtain 4rf. 
for a common lodging-house. He hates and avoids the workhouse. 
But the poor incapable, inefficient, or displaced worker (and this class 
increases) gets pressed down ; he parts with all he possesses ; he 
becomes shabby and cannot get work ; by and by he enters a 
tramp ward. What can he do but go on to another ? Therefore, 
he becomes a tramp, but not a voluntary one at first. This tramping, 
however, brings him inevitably into contact with the outcast class, and 
acts as a speedy education. If he has any brains he becomes a tramp 
proper and learns to prey on the community. Therefore, we may 
style our present system our ' National Tramp Manufactory.' 

There are six items in the indictment of the tramp ward which 
work together to make it almost impossible for those who drift down 
into it to earn an honest living if they wish to. Each item may have 
altered seriously for the worse since the tramp ward was instituted. 

First the diet, which amounts to semi-starvation. It must not be 
forgotten that a relative change may make what is eatable in one 
generation utterly distasteful to another ; our working classes usually 
eat some sort of butter with bread. White bread is less sustaining 
than the older forms of brown bread. Probably the old bread and 
' skilly ' was much more palatable and nutritious than the present 
white bread and thick gruel, and much nearer the ordinary diet of 
the very poor labourer. The absence of drink amounts to torture. 
Probably the old thin ' skilly,' approaching to ' oatmeal drink,' served 
both as food and drink, was not distasteful. By making the ' skilly * 
better, Guardians have really deprived the diet of sufficient moisture. 
Water may be, but is not always, attainable ; it is not now our cus- 
tomary drink. Half the food allotted is not, and cannot be, eaten 
for want of moisture. Wise tramps take in tea and sugar, but are 
dependent on kindness for hot water. They often cannot obtain 
it. No one who has not tried can imagine the longing for the ' cup 
of tea ' which is now our national custom for two meals in the day. 
I believe workhouse inmates also suffer from similar deprivation, and 
that this is one of the reasons for frequent intoxication on ' liberty 
days.' The first impulse on release is to seek a drink. 

Secondly, there is an alteration in the standard of cleanliness. The 
bath and stoving were certainly not Elizabethan characteristics. The 
bath as a sanitary precaution is good enough, and often valued, but 
it is given under conditions that are not health -producing, often 


the reverse. Exemption may be claimed for positive illness, but 
short of this everyone knows that care should be exercised in 
bathing. To the weary traveller, cold with waiting for admission, 
a hurried bath is administered ; in some cases food is given before 
the bath, which is most prejudicial. There is no convenience for 
drying the hair or wrapping up the head. Chilly rooms and insuffi- 
cient bed-covering may produce a violent cold. Stoving clothes may 
be necessary, but they are often so changed in appearance as to be 
almost unwearable, and in their creased condition form a certificate 
of the wrong sort for the wearer. It is found possible in shelters to 
use other precautions, and those of the tramp ward are neither com- 
fortable nor sufficient. It is not the object of the writer to speak 
absolutely against the bath and stoving, which may be very desirable, 
but only to point out that a heavy cold and crumpled clothing will 
not help a person to obtain employment. 

There is next the task set. Probably this also has grown in severity 
under the mistaken idea that it would put down tramping. At any 
rate there now exist weary acres of tramp wards to be faithfully and 
immaculately scrubbed ! The older workhouses are much more com- 
fortable and acceptable from a tramp's point of view than the newer 
ones. Just where the pressure of destitution is greatest, in the large 
towns, Guardians often pride themselves on being strict. It saves 
the rates, but it does not solve the problem. In the end the rates 
suffer in other directions. 

I consider that the ordinary female tramp would as a charwoman 
earn about 2s. and her food by her day's work. Of course, some 
feeble, aged, or ineffective tramps may not be so hard pressed, and 
there is a great difference between workhouses. Still, a good day's 
work is, as a rule, exacted from both men and women, which would 
earn far more than they obtain. A woman issues spent and dirty, 
half starved, and incapable of immediate work, she cannot wash or 
change her clothes. 

There is, fourth, the sleeping accommodation ; a couple of restless 
nights is a bad preparation for labour. The plank bed is the punish- 
ment of a prisoner, the chain mattress abominably cold. Straw beds 
are valued and no wonder ! Can the public realise that the mere 
absence of rest due to an uneasy couch and constant interruptions 
to sleep is almost maddening ? Try it, and find out how you will 
feel after two nights ! 

Fifthly, there are the hours. If work is not obtained (and it rarely 
can be obtained after the early morning) there is the long weary food- 
less day, the walking about for slow hours till six or seven o'clock. 
Release on the second day may be early enough to seek work, but it 
is not always so. One night's shelter and early release is greatly 
desired by the wanderer in search of employment. 

Sixth, there is^the entire absence of any attempt to help the helpless. 


Bare food and shelter are given in exchange for more than their value 
in work. But the stranded unfortunate is left just as helpless, more 
hungry, more thirsty, with clothes in worse condition. Is this worthy 
of a Christian country ? Nations are to be judged by their treatment 
of the destitute. 

It may be replied that the tramp ward is not intended for this 
class. But we have no other provision for the man seeking work 
without means. It was publicly stated recently in a prominent 
northern paper that it had been ' demonstrated ' that there was no 
need for men to sleep elsewhere. 

But facts overturn fiction. The number of shelters and chari- 
table institutions goes on increasing, and the cry of the homeless is 
still in our ears. Everything points to the necessity for an entire 
revision of our Poor-law, its correlation with municipal effort, and the 
wise and united administration of our scattered charities. Julie 
Sutter sketched, in the Commonwealth for April, a scheme for a ' British 
National League of Help,' with the main lines of which I am in accord. 
But it is not on the clergy of any denomination, or on the Church or 
churches as a whole, that the evolution of a new order lies, but on 
the nation as a whole, and on those who have undertaken to be ' Guar- 
dians ' of national interests as regards the destitute poor lies at the 
present moment a tremendous responsibility. They may by rigidly 
holding to existing forms block the path of progress so effectually 
that no true reform is possible. They may take pride in machinery 
perfected and polished which is yet a mill that crushes life and hope 
out of thousands of their fellow-countrymen. It is astonishing how 
an established institution can outlive use and enslave thought. We 
are bound to the customary. 

Let us consider the subject from another point of view. In an 
illuminating sentence at the close of the one already quoted, Belloc 
shows how, if the rigidity of the social organisation exceeds a certain 
point, man reverts to his natural state. It is the same in the body : 
if diseased conditions in any part become acute, ' matter ' forms. 
The drilled and disciplined unitary cells of the body break loose into 
primitive fecundity, and multiply as a lower form of life. Inflamma- 
tion sets in. 

The unitary tramp proper is usually, as is well known, a centre 
of contagion and infection, physical and moral, and tends to breed 
lawlessly. This is the excuse of society for endeavouring to suppress 
him. But what is a tramp ? Can we not get near enough to him 
as a human brother to understand him and the reason of his being ? 
Any form of energy is useful if directed into right channels. It requires 
ingenuity, capability, and energy to be a tramp. The distinguishing 
feature of the real tramp is that he prefers to be one. He will not 
settle into a quiet place in the social economy, he prides himself on 
being ' on the road.' ' You will soon get to like it, it is a healthy 


life,' they say to a new comer. All rescue workers know it is almost 
impossible to settle down a genuine tramp without compulsion. 

Why ? Because tramp life is after all a return to primitive free- 
dom, or, as Belloc says, ' a reversion to the natural.' What do we of 
the ' classes ' do if we are free to please ourselves ? If our bodily 
wants are provided for, we travel, we seek society, the foe we most 
dread is ' ennui.' The tramp is a man who has discovered that sub- 
sistence is possible combined with freedom. 

In him the primitive instincts of our race assert themselves. The 
Saxon and the Viking swarmed to England in search of adventure as 
well as of nutrition. The Norman followed. We are a nomadic race 
at bottom. Does not the breath of spring make us long for green 
fields and blue skies and freedom from social trammels ? 

In the time of Elizabeth one result of social pressure was that we 
swarmed over seas, and the same result has occurred to-day. Kipling 
has expressed in a fine poem the feelings of a soldier who has tramped 
the veldt and is trying to settle down in England. 

Me that 'ave been what I've been, 

Me that 'ave gone where I've gone, 
Me that 'ave seen what I've seen . . . 

Me that 'ave watched 'arf a world 
'Eave up all shiny with dew, 

Kopje on kop, to the sun 
As soon as the mist let 'em through . . . 

And I'm rolling his lawns for the Squire 

Me that 'ave rode through the dark 

Forty mile often on end 
With only the stars for my mark, 

An' only the night for my friend . . . 
An' the silence, the shine, and the size 

Of the 'igh inexpressible skies . . . 

The same spirit breathes in the letter from a tramp, published 
in the Daily News of April 18 : 

SIR, I am a tramp, a man without a habitat. No outcry uprose in winter 
while the East End sheltered the tramp. When he trudges west after waste 
food and a grassy couch, the Press rise up in arms. Each one of these ' bundles 
of rags ' on the grass has a history, some an interesting one. I have been 
despoiled of the fruitage of my labours ; have acted the roll of errand lad, shop 
assistant, clerk, traveller, market-man, barber, canvasser, entertainer, mummer, 
song-writer, and playwright. I have dwelt within workhouse, asylum, and 
prison walls ; have scrubbed the filthy, tonsured the imbecile, tended the aged, 
and soothed the dying. A pedlar of toys, many a time I have enjoyed a night 
on a turfy bed, the stars my coverlet, the hedge fruit my morning meal, my 
bath the shallow stream. Nature suns the nomad as well as the traveller. 
Derelicts, wastrels, paupers, pests, vagrants, bundles of rags ! dub us what men 
will we are human. There are tramps and loafing tramps ; ill-clad and well- 
tailored loafers. Make all work West and East loafing is infectious. 



There is often contempt in the mind of a tramp towards his station- 
ary brother, and after all is it undeserved ? Is the passion for freedom 
to count for nothing, willingness to endure discomfort rather than 
sacrifice contact with nature, the rough sympathy with all sorts and 
conditions of men, and the education that comes of a wider human 
fellowship ? Are we not all tramps at bottom ? Have not our 
Gordons and our Stanleys much of the tramp about them ? Suppose 
we are suppressing valuable social units whose energy from childhood 
would have expanded if diverted to useful channels ? Has not every 
age needed its outlet into this kind of existence ; the Crusades, coloni- 
sation, exploration ? May we not say with reverence that the Highest 
Life ever lived was that of a tramp ; have not some of the closest 
approximations to it, notably that of Francis d' Assisi, involved tramping 
also, because wide contact with men of low estate breeds not contempt 
but fellowship ? Let us recognise that minds which have an affinity 
for this kind of life have their function in our national economy. 
Suppose our population was to settle down wholly, and that the ancient 
spirit which longs for ' new worlds to conquer ' were to die out. Should 
we not be ' like dumb driven cattle,' and perish of deadly dulness ? Is 
the life of a slum-dweller to be preferred to that of a tramp ? Are his 
chances for life greater ? To breed infectives is as bad as to breed 
tramps. It is said that wanderers are increasing 100 per cent. It is 
the sign of need for social vent. Each individual who escapes to the 
tramp life is not likely to return to normal conditions unless his return 
is greatly facilitated, or he is given some outlet to freedom. They 
breed freely, and we support their children. But is this tendency 
to wander wholly to be repressed ? Can we repress it under modern 
conditions ? Germany has recognised the right of every young man 
to go wandering as part of his education. Practically our young men 
leave the countryside for ' chances ' in a town. Families are scattered, 
thousands of men have to wander. Does it not greatly matter to the 
nation under what conditions they live ? If we are to turn this feature 
of our times to good account we must no longer aim at repression. 
We need a definite circulation, channels by which travel can pass and 
yet be reabsorbed into healthy existence is not this the sign of higher 
organism ? We need to give play to the educative influence of travel 
and of free contact under right and healthy conditions. We need to 
catch our tramps young, and hold out hope to them, to pass them 
on to the life of soldier, sailor, colonist, after a period of compulsory 
training to make the ineffective effective. We need to part with our 
repugnance to the wanderer (let us drop the name ' tramp ') and 
utilise him, recognising that he may be, if we treat him rightly, our 
best and not our worst, and that deadly stagnation is a national evil 
to be dreaded ; that the modern stagnation of a dependent popula- 
tion, divorced from nature, without education and without resource, 
festering in slums, may be far worse than the ancient evil of the 


tramp. We must drain our slums, we must encourage a quick and 
easy transit from one place and one occupation to another. If we 
suppress tramping, we encourage stagnation, unless we create also 
well-defined and natural channels for the original and primitive 
instinct, which is the heritage of our English race, to develop health 
fully and function safely. It is astonishing how a system has power 
to enslave the thought even of the educated, and outlive use. The 
vague sense of justice of thousands may be on the side of change, 
yet the power of a cast-iron system holds back reform. This spells 
revolution in the end. 

How shall we steer our country into quiet waters ? In what 
direction lies true reform ? I believe we have before us the example 
of other countries which we may usefully follow. Germany has 
covered herself with a network of relief stations and workmen's home s 
to facilitate migration of labour, supplemented by labour colonies for 
the destitute. Belgium and Holland have their national treatment 
of the vagrant problem. 

I will put the solution in the form of a series of propositions : 

(1) In every town there should exist sufficient accommodation 
on any night for the restful sleep of every person for the time resident 
there. Every person who sleeps in the open or under insanitary con- 
ditions is during the next day a centre of contagion, a menace to public 

(2) It is impossible to expect private enterprise to provide suffi- 
cient and sanitary accommodation. Ebbs and flows in the tide need 
to be calculated for, therefore in addition to all private shelters or 
lodging-houses being efficiently supervised, there should be municipal 
accommodation up to the extremest point of need. The ancient duty 
of entertaining a stranger rests now on the municipality. 

(3) It is not desirable that this accommodation should be chari- 
table. It should be graded, but earned by work, except in cases of 
incapacity from old age, incurable disability, or sickness. These 
should be received into the workhouse for special treatment without 

(4) It is desirable to have the shelters or municipal lodgings as 
such, independent of the provision of work for the destitute. This 
might remain a part of the workhouse system. A certain task rightly 
performed might earn sufficient to pay for bed and board. This 
combination of relief stations with the right to enter workmen's homes 
is the German system. If there was a national arrangement by which 
the bare necessaries of life could be obtained by honest toil all excuse 
for beggary would vanish. 

(5) There should be organised charity in connection with every 
relief station. The object of this should be to watch the stream of 
humanity, and pick out cases of suffering for individual treatment. 

Watching the stream as it flows through our national sieves, the 


relief stations, we shall find four main classes requiring separate 

There is, first, the degraded vagrant proper, identified by his 
abhorrence of work, by his turning up at relief station after relief 
station, or shirking them and preying on the public. We will give 
him a waybill for identification, as sketched in Julie Sutter's plan, 
and land him in a colony, detaining him for an education, more or 
less penal, in honest toil ; we will prevent him from breeding ; and 
refuse to allow the children he has to be dragged about the country. 
We advocate detention for the loafer vagrant, and, if possible, re- 
demption to honest toil. 

There is, secondly, the incapable. The man or woman who cannot 
work deserves pity ; the blind, the epileptic, and feeble-minded need 
care, with a curtailment of liberty, if morally incapable, to prevent 
the passing on of hereditary defects to a degenerating offspring ; 
but they need the tenderest help we can give, and all possible compen- 
sation for a hard lot. We advocate true charity to the disabled. 

There is, thirdly, the ineffective, the man or woman, ill-trained or 
ill-placed. We need wisely to guide each life to the right spot, to fit 
each one in by national bureaux of industry, to provide effective 
education for the new generation, to give increased mobility to meet 
fluctuations of work, and to look after those who have no personal 
initiative. We advocate the utilisation of the ineffective. 

There is, fourth, the genuine skilled out-of-work man, ' worth his 
salt.' We need for him some such regulation of municipal enterprise 
as will provide a true labour market, to equalise employment in times 
of scarcity, and tide over the periods when, as John Hobson points 
out, there is a ' temporary simultaneous glut of land, labour, and 
capital.' We advocate the equalisation of the labour market for the 
true out-of-works. Part of this provision lies at the door of the muni- 
cipality. May we hope for wise ' Councillors ' in our national time of 
need ? Part lies at the door of the Poor-law authority. May we hope 
there will be ' Guardians ' conservative, not of institutions, but of 
those national instincts of justice which are ever on the side of the 
redress of national wrongs ? 

Such is our national need. But one word as regards my own 
sex. Conditions which press heavily on men press cruelly on women. 
It was the fact, constantly borne in upon me by observation, that 
women were continually dropping out of the protection of homes, and 
being forced by destitution into sin, that led me to investigate the 
condition of the tramp. A recent census was taken of the sleeping- 
out problem in London. Many men were found, and only few women. 
Why ? Is not the number of women in England larger than that of 
men ? I believe the answer is a tale of horror. Destitute women 
are driven to prostitution. If our national provision for destitution 
is harsh and insufficient, it amounts to the perpetual forcing of our 

VOL. LVI No. 329 E 


destitute sisters into a life of vice, and so indirectly to the sapping 
of the very foundations of society. The number of lodging-houses 
which take women is decreasing. Does it not lie upon us as a nation 
to see that no woman shall be forced by destitution into sin ? Every 
week, sometimes every day, there drift into shelters and homes desti- 
tute sisters ; girls, many of them very young ; willing and eager to 
earn their living ; hungry, almost without clothing ; tempted, 
sometimes fallen ; dropped out of homes, bewildered, friendless, but 
willing to take a helping hand. Who but such as these need ' guar- 
dians ' ? Shall we consider that the mere administration of a rigid 
law is England's duty ? No ; it has rested too long on one sex only ; 
perhaps to that it owes partly its rigidity and harshness. It needs 
to be transmuted by woman's love and woman's devotion to the 
trifling details of individual need, unto the ' charity that is twice 
blessed, that blesses him that gives and him that takes.' 





I HAVE more than once predicted in the pages of this Review that the 
best of the Anglican clergy would in the end throw over the Educa- 
tion Act. I am still of opinion that they will do this in the end, but 
I am compelled to admit that the end is long in coming. A year and 
a half ago they were irritated by the Kenyon-Slaney Clause and uneasy 
at the possible effect on religious teaching of the introduction of repre- 
sentative managers. Six months later they were alarmed at the 
apparent strength of the Opposition and the possible advent of a Govern- 
ment pledged to amend the Act in an undenominational sense. To-day 
these causes of dissatisfaction seem to have lost much of their force. 
The Education Act has come into operation, and in the majority of 
cases no great change has followed. The Kenyon-Slaney Clause has 
hardly ever been invoked. The county councils have for the most part 
been careful to consult the wishes of the foundation managers. The 
Act has proved more tolerable than the clergy expected, and the recent 
recovery in the position of the Government has made them hopeful 
that it will at least not be altered for the worse. Added to this, the 
attitude of the Nonconformist majority and the general acceptance 
of Dr. Clifford's leadership have made the dividing line between them 
and Churchmen very much sharper. Even those who recognise the 
unsatisfactory character of the present settlement, and the probability 
that in the long run it will lower the standard of religious teaching 
in Church schools, seem disposed to put aside the idea of an educa- 
tional compromise as not at present within reach. 

It is an unfortunate moment, no doubt, in which to preach con- 
ciliation. And yet this is the object of the present article. Some 
little time since a small conference of Churchmen and Nonconformists 
met to consider whether they could discover some common ground, 
the acceptance of which would involve no sacrifice of principle on 
either side. A committee was appointed to draw up a scheme, and 
the outcome of their labour is a draft Bill, the contents of which I am 
allowed to use, though it has not yet been submitted to the conference. 
This Bill seems to me to contain all the essential provisions of a reason- 
able concordat. It gives the Nonconformists what they ask, and all 

67 F2 " 


that it claims in return is a frank recognition of the principle of religious 
equality. I do not say that all its provisions are equally essential, 
but there is not one of them that really comes into conflict with the 
civil or religious conscience. 

The object of the Bill, as explained by the introductory memo- 
randum, is twofold. On the one hand it introduces public manage- 
ment into all schools ; on the other it sets up absolute religious equality 
between them, and aims at making adequate provision for the universal 
teaching of religion. Supposing the Bill to become law, all schools 
deriving support from the rates would become provided schools, 
those now known as non-provided schools being handed over to the 
local Education Authority on equitable terms. The managers of 
these, as of other schools, would be appointed by this authority, and 
all the teachers would be chosen without reference to their religious 
belief. Religious equality is secured by the repeal of the Cowper- 
Temple Clause and an enactment that all religious or ethical teaching 
shall be provided and paid for by religious or other bodies, singly or 
in combination the parents of each child being left to say what kind 
of religious teaching they wished it to receive. It is probable that 
some schools will decline to come under public management. These, 
of course, would not be affected by this Bill. But in the event of 
their being allowed to receive public support on special terms, while 
remaining outside the Act, whatever is given to one denomination 
must be given to all. The facilities for religious teaching consist in 
fixing a time in which it is to be given, and in allowing individual 
teachers on the staff of the school to give the religious lesson provided 
that they are paid by the religious or ethical body which employs 

This memorandum sets out the main contents of the Bill, but 
to make sure that they will be understood I will give the chief pro- 
posals in the actual words. 

Notwithstanding (says Clause I.) anything to the contrary contained in the 
Education Acts 1870 to 1903, or any of them, all public schools maintained but 
not provided by the local Education Authority . . . shall be deemed to have 
been so provided. 

In this way all rate-aided schools will pass, so far as management 
is concerned, out of the hands of their present owners into those of 
the local education authority. This authority, however, may pay 
the fair annual value of the schoolhouse by way of rent, and it may 
also purchase it if the trustees consent, at a price to be settled, if 
need be, by arbitration. By Clause II. the purchase-money is to be 

according to a scheme to be settled by the Charity Commissioners in confor- 
mity with such of the trusts upon which the school-house was formerly held as 
were not trusts for secular education. 


Clause III. repeals the Cowper-Temple Clause and makes it 

the duty of the local Education Authority (a) to afford facilities for the duly 
accredited teacher of any religious body, or combination of religious bodies, to 
give separate religious instruction in every public elementary school within its 
district to such of the scholars as shall be required by their parents to receive 
such instruction, and (b) to afford similar facilities to such body or bodies for 
the holding of separate Sunday schools in the school so far as is practicable, 
having regard to the accommodation of the school-house. Provided that no 
part of the cost of such instruction shall be borne by the local Education 
Authority. The time devoted to religious instruction shall be at least three- 
quarters of an hour at the beginning or end of each school-day. Secular 
instruction shall be provided contemporaneously with such religious instruction, 
and any child whose parents shall not desire him to receive any religious in- 
struction shall be required to attend such secular instruction instead. 

I submit that this Bill suggests a settlement of the education 
difficulty which ought to satisfy all parties except, it may be, fanatical 
secularists. What are the objections raised by Nonconformists to 
the Act of 1902 ? That it gives local money without adequate local 
control; that, in appearance at all events, it appropriates local 
money to the support of schools belonging to particular denomina- 
tions ; that, in order to secure the teaching proper to such denomina- 
tions, it permits them to impose a religious test upon the head teacher 
in each school. Every one of these objections is met by this Bill. 
The managers of every school will be appointed by the local Education 
Authority. Not a fraction of the rates can be spent, even in appear- 
ance, on the provision of religious instruction of any kind in any 
school. And as the teachers will all be appointed, mediately or 
immediately, by the local Education Authority, no question can be 
asked as to their religious belief. What is there in this settlement 
to which a Nonconformist can consistently take exception ? Church 
schools disappear, and in their stead we have in every parish in the 
kingdom a school wholly under public management and forbidden 
to show any favour or give any advantage to any one religion over 
another. Under the present law these principles are necessarily 
disregarded in single-school districts. A majority of the managers 
belong to a particular denomination ; no religion other than that 
of this denomination can be taught in the school ; and yet the school 
is maintained out of public funds. The truth is that the present 
provisions for elementary education are only suited to towns, and to 
a condition of things which, even in towns, has seldom really existed. 
If we imagine the educational need supplied in the main by schools 
built by the denominations, so that only the fringe of children whose 
wants are not met in this way attend schools of the present provided 
type, the co-existence of two distinct classes of schools might be 
accepted as a working settlement. But it is altogether inapplicable 
to country districts where, more often than not, there is only one 
school for the children, whatever may be their denomination, and 


Nonconformist parents have in consequence to choose between reli- 
gious instruction which is not theirs and no religious instruction at all. 
And even in towns it is only applicable in theory. The denomina- 
tional system assumes that Church children will go to Church schools, 
Roman Catholic children to Roman Catholic schools, Nonconformist 
children to Nonconformist schools. In this way all the children in the 
place would be taught the religion of their parents, and the provided 
school would take only those whose parents had no preference for 
any definite religion. Whether such a system as this ever presented 
itself to the imagination of any of the authors of the Act of 1870 it is 
impossible to say, but if it did it never took shape anywhere else. 
The denominational need was never supplied except in part, and the 
Board schools went on gathering in an increasing number of children 
belonging to various religions. The dual system broke down from the 

The authors of the Act of 1902 had the choice of abolishing or 
tinkering this system. Unfortunately they chose to tinker it. Pro- 
vided schools were given a more important place in the system, but 
in return for this the voluntary schools were bidden to look to the 
rates for maintenance except as regards structural repairs or additions. 
How this compromise has worked there is no need to say. The moral 
may be studied in the records of the Welsh county councils and in 
the incidents of Passive Resistance. 

A proposal of compromise must come from someone, and hitherto 
neither side has liked to take the first step. Nonconformists declare 
that they have no evidence that Churchmen are willing to entertain 
such an offer. Churchmen declare that it is useless to make sugges- 
tions until there is some reason to suppose that they will receive fair 
consideration. The framers of the Bill here described have come 
forward under the pressure of a strong conviction that the prospect 
of the settlement they desire is likely to grow fainter as time goes on. 
They think that their proposals are reasonable and just, that they 
remove the grievances of which Nonconformists complain, and give 
Churchmen an opportunity of looking after children whom the growth, 
actual and prospective, of provided schools is rapidly taking out of 
their hands. If it can be shown that they are mistaken in any parti- 
cular, they are willing to recast that part of their scheme. They put 
forward their proposals in the hope that Churchmen may be induced 
to make them their own, and that Nonconformists may be willing 
to join in pressing them upon the Government. They are fully aware 
that no settlement of this magnitude can possibly be brought to a 
conclusion by any private action. All they ask is that a plan, the 
general acceptance of which would end a most mischievous contro- 
versy, shall not be put aside without full consideration. 

If we were to judge by their published statements, we might well 
despair of either side conceding anything. Churchmen point to the 


successful working of the Act in this or that county ; Nonconformists 
reckon up the occasions on which this or that champion has seen 
his goods taken in execution rather than pay the Education Rate. 
In such a case as this common sense teaches that the man who has 
most to lose by holding out is the man to come lorward with pro- 
posals of compromise. Let us see how this rule works out when 
applied to the Education Act. The view that the clergy seem to 
take is that their strength is to sit still. The excitement and opposi- 
tion aroused by the Act will die away by degrees. Even Passive 
Resisters will in time come to a wiser mind, and Mr. Lloyd-George 
and the Bishop of St. Asaph will feed lamblike in the same statutory 
pasture. Meanwhile the clergy retain their schools in most cases 
and when the crisis is over all will go on as before. It is always 
well to take note of what your adversary thinks of your position, 
and it is evident that the Nonconformists are not of opinion that the 
clergy have anything to gain by delay. If they were we should long 
ago have seen them coming forward with proposals of their own. 
That they have not done so shows that they at least have no fear 
that time has anything good in store for the Church, and for that very 
reason no desire to end the controversy quickly. 

Three alternative possibilities may be suggested in regard to the 
Education Act. The first is that a Liberal Cabinet comes into office 
after the dissolution. Even Mr. Chamberlain thinks this a probable 
contingency, though he couples with it the prediction that the Cabinet 
thus formed will not hold office very long. But even if this prediction is 
fulfilled to the letter, it contains very little comfort for the clergy. The 
Liberals may have but a short term of office, but, at all events, it will be 
long enough for the amendment of the Education Act. The most 
sanguine Churchman can hardly expect that, if after this Mr. 
Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister, he will care to restore the present 
strife. If the next Government amends the Act, the next Government 
but one may be trusted not to amend it back again. The second possi- 
bility is that the dissolution makes no change in the position of parties, 
and that, for some time longer at all events, the Act remains unaltered. 
Is this a prospect to be regarded with satisfaction by Churchmen ? 
It means, for one thing, the continuance of the present conflict between 
the Welsh County Councils and the Government. If this conflict 
were to be carried on in the manner in which the Carmarthenshire 
County Council began it, the Government might easily have the best 
of it. The very clever Bill which is now before Parliament would 
make short work of opposition conducted on these lines. But the 
Carmarthenshire County Council has already found out its mistake. 
It has accepted the less violent but more effective policy favoured by 
Mr. Lloyd-George, and the Principality is now busy in seeing how far 
it can go towards starving Voluntary schools without losing the grants- 
in-aid which the Government is compelled to make to the County 


Councils so long as they do not openly break the law. It may be objected 
that Wales is not England, and that its example is not likely to be 
followed in England. That is true, no doubt, of many local councils, 
but it is by no means true of all, and, even if it were, the resources 
of Nonconformity would not be exhausted. Have we any reason, for 
instance, to think that the case of the Isle of Wight will stand alone ? 
There was no disobedience to the law here. The County Council 
simply called upon the managers of certain Voluntary schools to 
make necessary additions to their buildings. The managers tried in 
vain to raise money for this purpose, and under the Act of 1902 their 
schools would thereupon have become provided schools. It would 
have been very much better if they had allowed the law to take its 
course, since the incident would then have shown how injuriously the 
Act is likely to affect Church schools. They preferred, however, to 
capitulate on terms which are almost indistinguishable from sur- 
render. In these professedly Church schools undenominationalism is 
taught every day by the regular paid teachers, while on one day in the 
week the parson comes in as a volunteer and teaches those children 
whose parents desire his services. Education does not promise to 
become less costly, nor will the official demands in the matter of cubic 
space and sanitary requirements grow less stringent. Consequently, 
cases like that in the Isle of Wight may be expected to multiply, and 
each one of them will be another step towards the establishment and 
endowment of undenominationalism in elementary schools. 

The third possibility is the most formidable, though not the most 
probable, of the three. It is that the Nonconformists will find out 
the mistake they have made in resisting the Act, and apply themselves 
to making full use of its provisions. The Church of England owes a 
great debt to the Nonconformists for the line they have taken in 
reference to the school rate. If they had welcomed the addition of a 
representative element to the management of every Voluntary school, 
and had made the most of the opportunity thus afforded them, un- 
denominational religion would in a very short time have been established 
and endowed in more than half the Church schools in the kingdom. 
A clergyman must be a man of strong religious convictions or strong 
fighting instincts if he prefers war to peace. Yet in thousands of 
parishes this would have been the choice he would have had to make. 
The two representative managers would have pleaded that religious 
unity would be promoted by making the basis of the religious teaching 
the same for all the children in the school. In that case, of course, 
the teaching must be undenominational, but the clergyman would be 
free to give further instruction to those children whose parents wished 
them to receive it at any time which did not interfere with the routine 
work of the school. By this plan controversy would be avoided, and 
the whole teaching staff would be able to take part in the religious 
lessons. This is what would have happened if Nonconformists had 


helped to work the Act instead of resisting it. This is what would 
happen if at any future time they determined to change their policy. 
Even if they remain as hostile to the Act as they are now, the whole 
drift of lay opinion is towards undenominationalism. The only people 
who really dislike it are High Churchmen and Roman Catholics 
neither of them numerically formidable and wherever an arrange- 
ment is proposed between a Church school and a County Council, 
the acceptance of rate-paid undenominational teaching for the whole 
school, while leaving the clergy free to give voluntary instruction out 
of school hours to those children whose parents expressly ask for it, 
is pretty sure to form part of it. With such a system as this, what 
estimate is a practical nation likely to form of the relative value of 
denominational and undenominational teaching ? They see the one 
paid for by the State and given, as part of the school curriculum and 
by the regular staff, to all children not expressly withdrawn from it under 
the Conscience Clause. They see the other given, outside the school 
curriculum and by school teachers receiving no pay from the State, to 
those children whose parents ask for something more in the way of 
religion than is enough for the majority of children. What conclusion 
can they possibly draw except that the State regards undenominational 
teaching as something worth paying for, and denominational teaching 
as a harmless fancy to be tolerated as long as there are people foolish 
enough to cherish it ? 

The position, therefore, which the clergy have to face is this : 
Where the Church is strong, where the buildings are new and adequate, 
where no addition is needed to the teaching staff, where the clergy- 
man is a power in the parish and the parents for the most part wish 
their children to be taught religion under his direction, all will go well 
as regards that particular school. But at what cost will this success 
be purchased ? All around him the fortunate incumbent will hear of 
schools being made over to the local Education Authority, and so 
ceasing, in fact if not in name, to be Church schools ; nor will he have 
any assurance that his own school will in the end escape the same 
fate. Its religious character will depend upon the policy of a County 
Council re-elected every three years, and of a Board of Education 
which reflects the Government of the day ; upon the temper of the 
Nonconformists in his parish, which may take its colour from some 
distant leader ; upon legislative changes made by a House of Commons 
which is the creation of an undenominational electorate. On which 
of these shifting sandbanks does he found his hope of keeping alive a 
school in which he will teach the full Christian faith as he holds it ? 

For these reasons as well as for the still stronger one that on the 
present system they are denied access to schools containing a con- 
stantly increasing number of children who have just as much claim 
on them as the children of their own schools this proposal is sub- 
mitted to the clergy. If they will make it their own, in any appre- 


ciable number, it has, I believe, a good chance of gaining public 
acceptance. If they will have nothing to say to it, it will, at all events 
for the present, make no way. It will find, indeed, more acceptance 
among Nonconformists than is commonly supposed, since it has 
what, in the eyes of some of them, is the supreme merit of securing 
equality of treatment for all forms of religion. But, as it runs counter 
to the present tendency of public opinion, it is not likely that they 
will urge its adoption except as a means of putting an end to educa- 
tional strife. Whether it will have this result depends, as I believe, 
on the reception the clergy give it. Theirs is the decision, and theirs 
will be the responsibility. 




THE recent debates in the Convocations of Canterbury and York have 
again raised the long- vexed question of the use of ' The Confession of 
our Christian Faith, called the Creed of St. Athanasius,' in the public 
services of the Church. It must, I think, be admitted that in respect 
of this creed the clergy are rather hardly treated. Many of them, 
perhaps most, disapprove its public use ; their congregations dis- 
approve it still more. Diocesan Conferences have declared against 
it, or at the best have half-heartedly defended it. And now at last 
the Bishops have begun to make speeches or to publish letters and 
addresses reflecting upon the creed or rearranging it, or attenuating 
some of its phrases, or explaining them away. But, all the while, 
the clergy are obliged by a definite rubric to recite the creed in public 
services and to recite it on such festivals as Christmas Day, Easter 
Day, and Whit-Sunday, when its damnatory clauses are strangely 
out of tune with the wishes and thoughts congenial to Christian hearts. 
There is, in fact, a strong case for some relief ; but the relief is not 

No doubt it is easy to argue that no man is compelled to take 
Holy Orders, and that, if a man voluntarily takes them, he has no 
claim to get rid of the obligations which they impose. 1 But this 
argument is hardly conclusive. For it is desirable that men, and 
especially earnest and thoughtful men, should be ordained, and that 
no unnecessary obstacle should be put in the way of their ordination. 
That the Athanasian Creed is such an obstacle will hardly be disputed 
by anyone who knows the state of theological feeling in the Universi- 
ties ; but if it is, and so far as it is, an obstacle, it is an evil. Nor 
are the clergy the only persons to be considered. For it is desirable, 
too, that the laity should go to church. If then there are a good 
many devout laymen who dislike and resent the public use of the 
creed and avoid hearing it by staying away from church, so far again 
it is on this account an evil. 

It is possible, indeed, that the evil may be exaggerated. The 

1 See Dr. Wickham Legg's letter in the Guardian, April 6, 1904. 



consciences of some candidates for Holy Orders are almost morbidly 
sensitive in the present day. For the doctrinal statements of the 
creed are probably not repugnant to anybody who believes the orthodox 
Christian faith, and, as believing it, is qualified and inclined to take 
Holy Orders. The so-called damnatory clauses, too, have been 
officially interpreted as ' to be understood no otherwise than the 
like warnings in Holy Scripture.' If so, all that can be said of them 
is that they are infelicitously expressed ; for there can be no doubt 
that they appear at first sight, and are generally taken, to go beyond 
the ' most certain warrants of Holy Scripture,' by which, according 
to the 8th Article, the Athanasian Creed may be proved. 

But the fact is that it is a mistake to look upon the same words 
as bearing always and everywhere the same significance. It often 
happens that technical phrases come to be used, not in a literal, but 
in a secondary meaning. There have been times when it seemed 
natural and necessary to visit theological errors with extreme male- 
dictions. The most awful condemnations of heretics excited no 
surprise or disgust. It is as certain as any fact of history can be 
that the same language which is felt to be terrible and deplorable by 
consciences trained in nineteen centuries of Christianity was not so 
felt, or was not so felt in anything like the same degree, by the 
Christians who first made use of it or first listened to it. The dam- 
natory clauses, therefore, of the Athanasian Creed are a heavier 
burden upon consciences to-day than they were many centuries ago, 
and they will become a still heavier burden as the years and the 
centuries pass. For humanity grows more humane ; that is one of 
the few clear gains attaching to progress ; men are kinder than 
they were, and their theology, too, becomes less rigid, less bitter 
than it was. 

The great objection, then, to the public use of the Athanasian 
Creed is that its language in its natural interpretation is not what 
Christians and Churchmen hold to be true. Archbishop Tait, in his 
speech in Convocation, put the general feeling well : 

We are to take the clauses in their plain and literal sense. But we do not. 
There is not a soul in the room who does. Nobody in the Church of England 
takes them in their plain literal sense. 

A reasonable person will not indeed deny that in any historical 
Church, having a continuous unbroken life of many centuries, formu- 
laries may, and often must, be interpreted with considerable latitude. 
The language of the sixteenth or seventeenth century, and a fortiori of 
the ninth or the fifth century, cannot be altogether suited to the twen- 
tieth. The candidate for Holy Orders, and scarcely less the lay member 
of the Church, must ask himself, not whether he approves and accepts 
every sentence of the Prayer Book in its literal meaning, but whether 
he feels himself to be in general sympathy with its language and its 


spirit ; and lie will allow himself the greater liberty, as he reflects 
upon the difficulty which the Church has experienced for a long time 
in legislating for herself or in getting legislation passed for her through 
Parliament. Still, when all is said, it remains an unhappy circum- 
stance that Churchmen should be expected on solemn festivals to take 
part in strong condemnatory phrases which they do not, and cannot 
in their consciences, hold to be literally true. 

It is now more than thirty years since the last attempt was made 
to meet and solve the problem of the Athanasian Creed. The story 
of that attempt is told at full length by the present Archbishop of 
Canterbury in the twenty-second chapter of the Life of Archbishop 
Tait. Archbishop Tait was himself in favour of rescinding the obliga- 
tion to use the creed in the public services of the Church. He was 
defeated by the strong opposition of the High Church party under 
the leading of Dr. Pusey and Dr. Liddon. Dr. Pusey wrote to the 
Bishop of Winchester on the 19th of October, 1871 : ' If the Athana- 
sian Creed is touched I see nothing to be done but to give up my 
canonry and abandon my fight for the Church of England.' Dr. 
Liddon wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury on the 23rd of December, 

It is not, I trust, obtrusive or other than right in me to state firmly to your 
Grace that if this most precious creed is at all mutilated by the excision of the 
so-termed damnatory clauses, or degraded by an alteration of the rubric which 
precedes it from its present position in the Book of Common Prayer, I shall 
feel bound in conscience to resign my preferments and retire from the ministry 
of the Church of England. 

Archbishop Tait, like the statesman that he was, chose in these 
circumstances the less of two evils. He preferred sacrificing his own 
views upon the use of the creed to breaking up the Church, whose 
chief minister he was ; and the creed and the rubric prescribing its 
public use have remained without alteration to the present time. 

Thirty years have wrought a change of theological opinion. The 
liberalising spirit which has passed upon theology has intensified the 
antipathy of many devout Churchmen to the frequent public recitation 
of the creed. High Churchmen, as they have adopted a new position 
in regard to the inspiration of Holy Scripture, have apparently adopted, 
or are adopting, a new position in regard to the public use of the 
Athanasian Creed. The Bishop of Worcester, at his Diocesan Con- 
ference, has spoken in favour of a resolution : ' that the present rubric 
governing the use of the Athanasian Creed is the cause of more harm 
than good, and should be fundamentally altered.' The Bishop of 
Chester, at his Conference, has declared the creed to be in its present 
form c an absolute stumbling-block in the way of the faith.' 

There is an increasing desire also to bring the Church of England, 
in her use of the Athanasian Creed, into greater harmony with the 
other Churches of Christendom. At present she insists upon the 


public recitation of the creed thirteen times in the course of the year. 
But the creed is not so treated in any other Church of Christendom 
(except, indeed, the Episcopal Church of Scotland), nor was it so 
treated in the Church of England herself before the Reformation. 
It is not similarly recited in the Church of Rome, or in the Churches 
of the East, or in the reformed Lutheran or Calvinistic Churches of 
the continent of Europe, or in the Presbyterian Churches of Scotland 
or in the Nonconformist Churches of England. It is not similarly 
recited in the Church of Ireland or in the Episcopal Church of the 
United States of America. 2 The rubric enforcing its use in the public 
services of the Church of England on the festivals now enumerated 
in the Prayer Book was the work of the Anglican Reformers. It first 
appeared in the second Prayer Book of King Edward VI. It did 
not in express terms order the creed to be used as a substitute for 
the Apostles' Creed until the revision of the Prayer Book in 1662. 
To revert to the more ancient Catholic usage of the creed would be 
in accordance with the growing spirit of regard for the principles and 
practices of the early Church. 

In these circumstances it is matter for thankfulness that the Upper 
Houses of both the Convocations of Canterbury and York should have 
lately passed resolutions, the one for ' appointing a committee to 
consider in what way the present use ' of the creed ' may be modified, 
the document itself being retained in the formularies of the Church 
as an authoritative statement of the Church's faith ' ; the other, for 
' restoring ' the creed ' to its more ancient use as a document for 
instruction of the faithful, in such manner as may most fully safe- 
guard the reverent treatment of the doctrines of the faith.' 3 These 
resolutions are striking in themselves. They indicate a remarkable 
advance of episcopal opinion. But there is no reason to think that 
the bishops have gone beyond the opinion of the Lower Houses of the 
Convocation, or the Houses of Laymen, or the clergy and laity of the 
Church everywhere. For still more striking than the resolutions have 
been the debates which took place upon them. Almost everybody 
who has spoken has expressed himself as sympathetic with the desire 
to give some relief to anxious consciences, if only it could be given 
without compromising the Catholic Faith ; and nobody has exhibited 
anything like the bitterness or wilfulness or the arbitrary irrecon- 
cilable spirit which marked the debates, or some of the speeches 
delivered in them, thirty years ago. But when men who resist a 
policy resist it not because it is wrong in itself, but because of con- 
sequences which may possibly flow from it, it has already come half- 
way to success. If it should happen that the several parties in 

2 Stanley, The Athanasian Creed, pp. 36 sqq. His statements are not entirely 
accurate, but even the use of the creed at Prime in the Church of Borne is not a 
parallel to its use at Matins in the Church of England. 

1 See the Guardian, May 11, 1904. 


the Church came to agree upon a change in the treatment of the 
creed, it would still be difficult to determine what the treatment 
should be. 

Three main proposals of reform have been made : 

(1) It has been proposed to meet the difficulty felt about the creed 
by retranslation. Not a few suggested retranslations have appeared. 
It will be enough to mention that the Committee of Bishops appointed 
more than thirty years ago to consider the use of the Athanasian 
Creed put forward suggestions on the 12th of February, 1872, for 
certain alterations both in the Latin text and in the English trans- 
lation. They proposed in the translation, among other minor changes, 

(a) To substitute the word ' infinite ' for ' incomprehensible ' and 
the word ' eternal ' for ' everlasting ' throughout the creed. 

(6) In verse 1 to read ' Whosoever willeth to be saved ' instead 
of ' Whosoever will be saved.' 

(c) In verse 25 to read ' There is nothing afore or after, nothing 
greater or less.' 

(d) In verse 28 to read ' willeth to ' for ' will ' and ' let him think ' 
for ' must think.' 

(e) In verse 29 to read ' faithfully ' for ' rightly.' 

(/) In verse 42 to leave out all the words after ' faith ' and to sub- 
stitute for them ' which every man who desireth to attain to eternal 
life ought to know wholly and to guard faithfully.' 

But I am afraid it must be admitted that no retranslation can 
solve the question of the creed. The Bishop of Worcester has said, 
rightly enough, that ' the objections to the public use of the creed 
would not be adequately met by a retranslation.' So, too, the Arch- 
bishop of York : ' We can use the most perfect possible translation, but 
we cannot touch the difficulties which surround the matter.' For, 
in fact, the Latin original is frequently open to the same objection 
as the English translation. To take the first two verses only, the 
words : 

Quicunque vult salvus esse ; ante omnia opus est ut teneat Catholicam 

Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit ; absque dubio in 
seternum peribit. 

are fully as explicit as ' Whosoever will be saved, before all things it 
is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith ; which Faith except every- 
one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish ever- 

It is, in fact, noticeable that the six professors of theology in the 
University of Oxford, who were consulted by the Committee of Bishops, 
Dr. Mozley, Dr. Pusey, Dr. Ogilvie, Dr. Heurtley, Dr. Bright, and 
Dr. Liddon, in their reply, dated the 30th of November, 1871, avowed 
themselves ' unable to make any suggestions as to either the text or 


the translation which may be expected to obviate the objections 
raised against the creed.' 4 

(2) A second proposed remedy is expurgation. 

It is possible, indeed, to draw a marked distinction between the 
doctrinal statements of the creed and the damnatory clauses which 
'precede and follow them. The doctrinal statements have been some- 
times compared to a picture, the damnatory clauses to the frame in 
which the picture is set. 

Three professors of theology in the University of Cambridge, Dr. 
Westcott, Dr. Swainson, and Dr. Lightfoot, in their reply to the Com- 
mittee of Bishops, on the 3rd of February, 1872, argued that ' the 
admonitory clauses may be treated as separate from the exposition 
itself, and may be modified without in any way touching what is 
declared therein to be the Catholic Faith ' ; and they ' ventured to 
express an opinion that it is the office of the Church to make such 
changes in the form of words by which the Faith is commended to 
believers as may be required for their edification and for the right 
understanding of her own meaning.' 

Modern research, however, has tended to show that, whether the 
damnatory clauses are or are not as a frame to a picture, the creed 
was never issued without them. They are not confined to the begin- 
ning .and the end of the creed. To leave out the clauses, and still 
more to leave out any doctrinal portion of the creed itself, would be 
to set an example of serious and even dangerous moment. 

The practice in Westminster Abbey at the present time has been 
misrepresented. It is not to recite a revised or amended Athanasian 
Creed instead of the Apostles' Creed. It is to recite the Apostles' 
Creed at the point where the rubric directs that the Athanasian Creed 
should be sung or said in place of it, and to sing a revised version of 
the Athanasian Creed called ' A Hymn of the Catholic Faith ' as an 
anthem at a later point in the service. The revision of the creed 
consists principally in omitting the first two and the last three verses : 
i.e. the so-called damnatory clauses and the doctrine of the resurrection 
of the body. It must depend, I think, for its justification upon the 
assumption that the Ordinary, whether the Bishop, or in Westminster 
Abbey the Dean, is legally entitled, upon his own responsibility, to 
break the rubric prescribing the use of the creed and to alter the 
creed itself. At all events it indicates the difficulty of touching the 
creed without touching its doctrinal statements. 

(3) The policy of saving the creed by appending to it an explanatory 
note has found a great deal of support at different times. 

The first Royal Commissioners appointed for the Revision of the 
Liturgy in 1689 suggested this addition : ' The condemning clauses 
are to be understood as relating only to those who obstinately deny 
the substance of the Christian Faith.' The Royal Commissioners 

4 Swainson, Nicene and Apostks 1 Creeds, p. 520. 


appointed in 1867 suggested this : ' That the condemnations in this 
Confession of Faith are to be no otherwise understood than as a 
solemn warning of the peril of those who wilfully reject the Catholic 
Faith.' Among other suggestions emanating from high ecclesias- 
tical authorities it is right to mention that of the six professors of 
theology in the University of Oxford, who submitted for consideration 
in 1871 the following form of a note such as may tend to remove 
some misconceptions : ' That nothing in this creed is to be under- 
stood as condemning those who by involuntary ignorance or invincible 
prejudice are hindered from accepting the Faith therein declared.' 
But this note Dr. Pusey felt afterwards to be unsatisfactory, and it 
appears that towards the end of 1872 he advocated another. 5 Finally, 
the Convocation of Canterbury issued in 1873 a declaration for the 
removal of doubts and to prevent disquietude in the use of the creed : 

(1) That the creed ' doth not make any addition to the Faith as contained in 
Holy Scripture, but warneth against the errors which from time to tune have 
arisen in the Church of Christ.' 

(2) That ' the warnings ' in the creed ' are to be understood no otherwise 
than the like warnings in Holy Scripture, for we must receive God's threatenings, 
even as His promises, in such wise as they are generally set forth in Holy "Writ. 
Moreover, the Church doth not herein pronounce judgment on any particular 
person or persons, God only being Judge of all.' 

That declaration was endorsed in 1879. But, as the Archbishop of 
Canterbury said in reply to the deputation which waited upon him 
on the 31st of last May, it has remained ' a dead letter ever since.' 

The Bishop of Chester, in the ' rearrangement of the Athanasian 
Creed ' which he has lately ' put forward for consideration by both 
the clergy and the laity of the diocese,' has been bold enough to com- 
bine a series of explanatory notes with both retranslation and expur- 

It is not possible to set out the case against an explanatory rubric 
as interpreting the terms of the creed in clearer or juster language 
than was used by Bishop (afterwards Archbishop) Magee in Convoca- 
tion more than thirty years ago : 

If you have words [he said] which are in themselves clear and simple, 
making a particular statement or assertion, it is simply impossible in the nature 
of things that you can by the mere exercise of your will put a gloss upon those 
words to explain away their meaning. Words mean what logic and grammar 
make them to mean. You may debate as much as you please before you issue 
a document what the words composing it shall be, but when you have put it out 
you have not any right to say ' These words shall mean this or that.' They pass 
under the dominion of grammar and must mean what they say. No man has a 
right to say that they mean anything more or less than their grammatical 
construction implies and declares. 

If, then, it is desirable to afford some relief both to clergy and to 

5 Life of E. B. Pusey, vol. iv. p. 251 ; compare Life of Archbishop Tait, vol. ii. 
p. 152. 

VOL. LVI No. 329 G 


laity in the matter of the Athanasian Creed, and if the three suggested 
policies are all more or less unsatisfactory, is there any course which 
can be safely recommended ? 

The creed is not, as it has been called in an angry pamphlet, ' the 
curse of Christendom.' But it is unfitted for use in the public services 
of the Church. It is as little suited for public recitation as the Articles 
themselves. It is a scholar's creed ; it demands a learning, a thought- 
fulness, an historical spirit which cannot be presumed in congregations 
including a great variety of men and women, educated and uneducated, 
and boys and girls and little children. The language employed in 
public worship should always bear its meaning on its face. However 
stately it may be, it should convey a clear and just impression to all 
who use it. A document which requires to be explained or explained 
away as often as it is used is sure to be a source of distress and irri- 
tation rather than of spiritual benefit. Anything is better than an 
unnatural interpretation of solemn words publicly used. But the 
Athanasian Creed is so apt to be misunderstood that it ought not to 
be used in public services. It should be a work, not for recitation, 
but for reference. 8 

My own earnest hope is that the Bishops, as the natural leaders of 
the Church, will try to meet the difficulty felt about the public use of 
the creed. It may not be in their power at present to effect legislation 
which would alter the rubric prescribing the recitation of the creed ; 
but if they should resolve and declare that in their judgment it is 
undesirable to make the public use of the creed any longer obligatory, 
they would take such action as would greatly relieve the consciences 
of the clergy, who now feel that, if they omit the creed, they are 
acting against authority, and, if they use it, that they are doing 
what is painful to many members of their congregations, and often 
to themselves. 

The argument for abandoning the use of the creed in public services 
is not only or chiefly that the creed is harshly expressed, or that it 
cannot by a forced interpretation be rendered harmless, but that it is 
suited for the study, and not for the church. It creates a false impres- 
sion, and an impression which grows falser year by year. It inculcates, 
or seems to inculcate, a perverted view of the consequences attaching 
to Christian faith and Christian duty. It differs widely in letter 
and spirit from the simplicity of the Gospel. To quote the words 
with which the late Dr. Swainson ends his treatise upon the Nicene 
and Apostles' Creeds : ' The dogmas of the Athanasian Creed are 
for the scientific theologian; the Bible revelation of the Father, 
Son, and Holy Spirit for every Christian.' Or, to go yet further 
back to the famous passage of Jeremy Taylor in his Liberty of 
Prophesying : 7 

See the speeches of the Archbishop of York and the Bishops of Durham and 
Chester in the Convocation of York, as reported in the Guardian, February 17, 1904. 
7 Section ii. p. 74. 


If I should be questioned concerning the Symbol of Athanasius ... I confess 
I cannot see that moderate sentence and gentleness of charity in his preface 
as there was in the Nicene Creed. Nothing there but damnation and perishing 
everlastingly, unless the article of the Trinity be believed, as it is there with 
curi osity and minute particularities explained. . . . For the articles themselves, 
I am most heartily persuaded of the truth of them, and yet I dare not say all 
that are not so are inevitably damned, because citra hoc symbolum the faith of 
the Apostles' Creed is entire, and he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved : 
that is, he that believeth such a belief as is sufficient disposition to be baptized, 
that faith with the sacrament is sufficient for heaven. . . . Besides, if it were 
considered concerning Athanasius' Creed, how many people understand it not, 
how contrary to natural reason it seems, how little the Scripture says of those 
curiosities of explication, and how tradition was not clear on his side for the 
article itself ... it had not been amiss if the final judgment had been left to 
Jesus Christ, for He is appointed Judge of all the world, and He shall judge the 
people righteously. 

Perhaps no wiser words none more Christian could be spoken 
than these. 


o 2 



IT has been said by a recent writer that ' the idea of miraculous birth 
has fascinated the minds of men in all parts of the world from the 
earliest times,' and if the question of such a birth be limited to an 
idea, the statement may possibly be true ; but if belief in the virgin- 
birth of Jesus Christ as an historical fact is to be insisted on, any 
feeling of fascination is likely to give place to one of perplexity and 
doubt. Thus, when lately it became known that the vicar of a parish 
in England had been constrained to resign his cure of souls because he 
was unable to give his assent to the doctrine of the virgin-birth, the 
question was very generally asked whether in the present day there 
exists any necessity for insisting on a belief in this doctrine, seeing 
that to the minds of most men the story of Christ's life and teaching 
affords more convincing evidence of his divine mission than the 
narrative of any abnormal circumstances attending his birth can 
produce. It is not, however, proposed now to discuss either the 
possibility of or the necessity for a virgin-birth, nor to ask whether 
a purely spiritual influence could cause the birth of a human body : 
the question for inquiry here will be limited to the consideration of 
the weight or force of the historical evidence on which the narrative 
of the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ rests. Now, in attempting to 
estimate the value of this evidence, one point is clear beyond 
doubt, namely, that of all the writers in the New Testament two 
alone make any mention of a miraculous birth, while the accounts of 
it given by these two writers are widely divergent. Another point 
equally clear is that the first and the last written of the four records 
of Christ's life contain no statement of nor any allusion to a virgin- 
birth. Thus, the writer of Mark's gospel, which is allowed to be the 
most ancient of the four records it may possibly have been written 
within forty years after Christ's death certainly never heard of the 
virgin-birth. And with regard to the fourth and last written gospel, 
if this book be the work of John the son of Zebedee, the truth of the 
story of a miraculous birth must be altogether discarded ; for if John, 
in whose home Mary lived as his own mother, never heard from her 
of this wondrous birth, it is manifest that such an event never happened, 
since, from the nature of the case, any account of it, to be worthy of 


credit, must have been derived from Mary herself. But whether the 
fourth gospel was written by John the son of Zebedee, or, as seems 
more probable, by John the Elder or Presbyter of Ephesus, the fact 
remains that, although this gospel was compiled for the express pur- 
pose of setting forth and insisting upon the divine side or aspect of 
Christ's nature, the writer of it had no knowledge of his miraculous or 
divine birth. Now let us first turn to the account given in Luke's 
gospel (i. 26-56) : here we have no dream, but the actual appearance 
of a heavenly messenger who makes an announcement to Mary which 
necessarily cannot long be kept secret ; in fact, Mary does not attempt 
to keep it secret, but proceeds to sing what is plainly a paraphrase of 
Hannah's song or prayer, recorded in 1 Samuel ii. 1-11, except that 
in Mary's hymn there seems to be less exultation than appears in 
Hannah's song, though Hannah was rejoicing only in the birth of a 
human son. Next, look at the terms in which the communication is 
made to Mary by Gabriel ; now, if the narrative intends us to under- 
stand, as it clearly appears to do, that the prediction uttered in verse 35 
did, in fact, come to pass, then it is plain that Jesus Christ never was 
' the son of the man ' never was the true typical man. and the title 
which he chose before all others was therefore misleading and difficult 
to understand. Moreover, it is certain that nowhere in the gospel 
narratives is Christ ever represented as claiming for himself a miraculous 
or virgin-birth (Luke iv. 22-24). Then, again, Gabriel says to Mary : 
* The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.' 
Could any divine messenger have spoken thus of him who was to live 
the life of a village carpenter, and to die the death of a malefactor ? 
Such words would have been a stumbling-block in Mary's path all her 
days. So with regard to the name ' Jesus.' Gabriel could never have 
used this word, which is a Greek rendering of the Hebrew name 
' Joshua ; ' thus in the Septuagint or Greek version of the Old Testa- 
ment the Book of Joshua is the Book of Jesus. Gabriel in addressing 
the Hebrew maid Mary must have used the Hebrew name Joshua 
(Yehoshua), not the Greek rendering of it, Jesus (lesous). If so, 
Christ's name never was Jesus, but Joshua. Now, the meaning of 
the word Jesus seems to be ' healer ; ' if, therefore, 'I^o-oOs (in 
Latin 'Jesus') is derived from ia, the root in Idoftat, to heal or 
cure, it is not impossible that, Christ being known as ' the healer ' of 
Nazareth, his true name soon became lost, and thus to the earliest 
Greek converts Greek Jews of the Dispersion he was known only 
by the name of ' the healer,' ' the Jesus of Nazareth.' Or is it possible 
that IHC was a mystic word used in the ancient Greek mysteries, 
and was by the early converts from mysticism given to Christ as the 
true fount of the ' healing ' water of life ? (John iv. 14). Certain it 
is that immortality or life beyond the grave was the great object of 
attainment held out in the Greek mysteries, and no one can read 
Christ's discourses, as given in the fourth gospel, without noting the 


insistence with which He urges His power to grant eternal life (John vi. 
27-58) ; so much so is this the case that it would almost appear as though 
some of these discourses were written with the object of supplanting 
or superseding the Greek mysteries, that is to say, of drawing into the 
Christian fold all those who had made trial of the mysteries and found 
them wanting ; in fact, the mysticism is at times so pronounced, and 
the invitation to come to Christ so persistent, that we seem to be 
listening to one who had himself passed through the mysteries and 
had experienced their emptiness and futility (xii. 24-27 ; ch. x.). How- 
ever, the consideration of questions such as these relates to the subject 
of the passing of Christianity from the Jew to the Greek, rather than 
to the particular matter now under discussion. To return, then, to 
Luke's account : even in the narrative itself we seem to find evidence 
against the story of Gabriel and the miraculous birth. Thus, how 
could the writer of verse 35 (ch. i.) repeatedly speak of Joseph as Christ's 
father (ii. 27, 33, 41, 43,^48), and why should Joseph and Mary marvel 
at the things which were spoken (v. 33), if Gabriel's prediction had 
become true ? Or how could Mary, in speaking of Joseph (v. 48), say 
to Christ : ' Thy father and I sought thee,' if the tremendous expe- 
rience of a miraculous birth had been hers ? Now let us turn to the 
account in Matthew, and the first question that will occur to any 
reader of ch. i. is this : Why should the life of Christ commence with 
the genealogy of Joseph (v. 16), if Joseph were not Christ's father ? 
Another point is that the writer of this chapter, or of verses 18 to 25, 
seems never to have heard of Gabriel's mission to Mary, for here in 
Matthew the vision or dream happens to Joseph, and not to Mary, 
and the name of Jesus is communicated to Joseph, and not to Mary, 
and an explanation of the name is given to Joseph which was certainly 
not given by Gabriel. But what can be said of the writer of verses 22 
and 23 (Matt, i.) in citing a passage from Isaiah which cannot 
support or bear the construction for which it is quoted ? For it is 
clear that the woman (translated 'virgin') in Isaiah vii. 14 is 
the same woman the prophetess who is spoken of in viii. 3 (Isaiah), 
and equally clear is it that no virgin-birth in her case is even suggested, 
but quite the contrary. The whole point of the prophecy in Isaiah is 
that ' before the child shall know to refuse evil and choose the good, 
the land, whose two kings thou abhorrest, shall be forsaken ' (vii. 16 ; 
vui. 4), not, that the child is to have a miraculous birth. Moreover, 
the writer in Matthew does not quote correctly the passage which he 
professes to cite (i. 23), for the words in the Septuagint are ' and thou 
shalt call [tcdXeasm not they shall caU] his name Immanuel,' that 
is to say, * you (Isaiah) shall name your son Immanuel ; ' this is clear 
from viii. 3, KOI Trpocrff^Oov irpos ryv TrpotprJTiv. The fact seems 
to be that this passage in Matthew (i. 18-25) is an interpola- 
tion, though possibly an early one ; but whether this be so or not, it is 
plain that the information on which the story of Joseph's dream is 


based must have been derived from a source entirely unknown to 
every other writer of the life of Christ even to Luke, who, though 
narrating in considerable detail the history of the apparition to Zacha- 
rias, does not say a word about any vision or dream occurring to 
Joseph. It seems, therefore, that the idea of a divine or miraculous 
birth is of Greek rather than of Hebrew or Jewish origin ,' to the 
Hebrew mind it seemed enough that their Messiah should be the son 
of David ' according to the flesh,' but to the Greeks a divine birth for 
their heroes or saviours was a necessity. It would appear as though 
this notion of a miraculous or virgin-birth arose at the time of the 
passing of Christianity from the ' world of Syrian peasants ' to the 
' world of Greek philosophers,' and gained acceptance as filling a 
want vaguely felt by the Greek converts. But that the first followers 
of Christ knew nothing of the story of the virgin-birth seems plain 
from the fact that there is not the smallest allusion to it in any of the 
Epistles ; in fact, in some of them both the argument and the words 
used are distinctly against any idea of a miraculous birth (Romans i. 
3 ; viii. 3). If, then, the writers of the earliest treatises dealing with 
the principles of the Christian faith never heard of the virgin-birth, 
and felt no necessity for it, why should belief in such a doctrine, resting 
as it does on scanty and unsatisfactory evidence, any longer be 
insisted on ? 




THERE exist radiations which differ from the whole category to which 
radiant heat and light belong, not so much in their effects as in their 
nature ; indeed, they can only be called radiations at all by an exten- 
sion of the meaning of that word, for they are really streams of particles 
bearing an electric charge and moving in straight lines at various 
rates of speed. The extended meaning of the word radiation to 
include all ray-like projections, whether material or otherwise, has 
now been universally adopted, the word emanation, which might 
perhaps have served, being reserved to denote those outgoings from 
a substance which >diff use away from it after the manner of a vapour 
or scent. That there are such radiations was, in the first instance, 
perceived by the phenomena which accompany the passage of an electric 
current through a tube containing highly rarefied air. That radiations 
similar to those which are thus artificially produced in the laboratory 
also exist spontaneously in nature, is a discovery made within the last 
few years, the theoretical importance of which can hardly be overrated. 

It is now known that all the compounds of uranium, thorium, and 
radium continuously emit such radiations, independently of any known 
supply of energy from without, and unaffected by temperature or 
pressure, or any physical conditions whatsoever. Nor is this radio- 
activity, as it is called, the result of chemical action or combination. 
The property, which is probably due to changes taking place within 
the atom itself, is most clearly manifested in the case of radium, and 
therefore it is easiest to study radio-activity by means of radium ; even 
as it is easiest to study magnetism by means of iron, although nickel 
and cobalt are magnetic substances too, and all substances show traces 
of magnetism in an exceedingly slight degree. Very probably radio- 
activity is also a property of matter as such, but the feeble manifesta- 
tions upon which this surmise is founded were never discovered until 
now because there was no reason until now to suspect their existence. 

There are three kinds of rays which are produced together by an 
electric current in a vacuum tube and found together in radium 
radiation. They are : Rays bearing a positive charge, rays bearing a 
negative charge, and uncharged rays, which apparently always ac- 
company these electric rays, but which belong to a totally different 


category. In any general survey of these radiations it is difficult to 
know what to call them because of the many names they bear. The 
negatively charged rays which issue from the cathode of the vacuum 
tube are called cathode rays inside the tube, but outside the tube they 
are called Lenard rays, because Lenard succeeded in causing them to 
pass through a thin window of aluminium, and was thus enabled to 
study them under conditions other than those in which they were 
produced. Positively charged rays, which appear simultaneously 
with the cathode rays, but are much more difficult to identify, are 
called channel rays (Kanalstrahlen). because they were first observed 
by using as cathode a piece of metal pierced with holes, so placed that 
the positively charged particles passed through the holes. Being thus 
sharply separated from the negative cathode rays which moved in the 
opposite direction, the positive radiation could be rendered distinctly 
manifest. The marvellously penetrating rays which arise where the 
cathode rays strike glass or metal were called by their discoverer 
X-rays. It is now more usual to speak of them as Rontgen rays. 
Radiations which are spontaneously emitted are collectively called 
Becquerel rays, in honour of the discoverer of radio-activity ; and, 
individually, the positively charged rays are called a-rays, the nega- 
tively charged rays /3-rays, and the uncharged rays, which resemble 
the Rontgen rays, are called 7-rays a notation suggested by Ruther- 
ford. This multiplicity of names is of historic interest, and may be 
convenient for the physicist, but it tends to obscure the essential 
identity. The first two classes can be called positive and negative radia- 
tion, but no generic name seems yet to be in use for the X-rays type. 
These radiations are invisible, and were detected by their effects ; 
in the first instance, many years ago, by the effect of fluorescence 
during the passage of an electric current through a tube in which the 
air was so highly rarefied that it could not absorb and check the 
radiation proceeding from the cathode. Where the glass wall did 
check that radiation the visible effect was brilliant fluorescence. As 
all the radiations produce fluorescent effects if they are sufficiently 
intense, it is possible to make their path evident by means of fluorescent 
screens. The self-luminosity of the purer salts of radium is believed 
to be due to phosphorescence caused by the radiations within the 
substance itself, but what the connection between the radiations and 
phosphorescence really is we cannot tell. Phosphorescence which 
differs from fluorescence only in that it continues for an appreciable 
time after the cause which has produced it has ceased to act is called 
forth by the more refrangible rays of ordinary light. If the ultra- 
violet part of the spectrum of sunlight, or preferably electric arc light, 
be thrown upon a suitable phosphorescent screen, the invisible rays 
become visible as violet, blue, or green, and sometimes even as yellow 
or red. Stokes gave the explanation of this when he showed that in 
every case the incident light is changed by the phosphorescent sub- 


stance into light of longer wave-length. How that change is brought 
about we do not know. Many substances only show phosphorescent 
effects if they are not quite chemically pure, and this renders it 
possible that the cause is some kind of chemical action. On the 
other hand, there are facts, such as the luminous effects produced by 
cleavage and friction, which seem to suggest a mechanical cause. 
Moreover, phosphorescence is, to a certain degree, a function of the 
temperature. Thus various materials paper, for instance can be 
made brilliantly luminous if they are at the temperature of liquid air, 
while certain crystals and various kinds of glass become phosphores- 
cent without any other agency if they are heated. Again, if a sub- 
stance which has been rendered phosphorescent by light be heated 
while it is still luminous, the effect is, first, great increase of bright- 
ness, and, next, far more rapid extinction. So sensitive is phosphores- 
cence to the radiation of heat, that even some of the visible rays at 
the red end of the solar spectrum, and still more the invisible heat 
rays, suffice in certain cases to extinguish the light, after having first 
caused a brief increase of activity. These and other curious inter- 
actions between heat, light, and phosphorescence show that the 
phenomena are, in any case, extremely complicated. Possibly there 
is really a close link between phosphorescence and radio-activity, so 
that knowledge concerning the one may throw light on the other. 

A principle which has produced great results in modern research 
is that it is worth while to seek elsewhere for what is known to exist 
anywhere. It was this principle which inspired Becquerel when he 
made experiments with fluorescent salts, in the hope of finding radia- 
tions which should, like the Rontgen rays, act on the photographic 
plate through substances opaque to light. He found far more than he 
had sought, but it was some time before the evidently complex nature 
of the spontaneously emitted uranium radiation he had detected was 
thoroughly understood ; not, indeed, till after the discovery of that 
superlatively radio-active element so aptly named radium. It was 
then seen that part of the radiation can be bent out of its course by a 
strong magnetic field in precisely the same manner as cathode rays 
can be bent aside. This part forms the /3-rays. Later on it was found 
possible in the case of radium, if the magnetic field was sufficiently 
intense, to deflect slightly a considerable portion of the remaining 
radiation in the opposite direction. This portion constitutes the 
a-rays. The 7-rays are, like the Rontgen rays, unaffected by mag- 
netism. Like the Rontgen rays also, they traverse a prism without 
refraction. Very little is known about them because of their exceeding 
penetrativeness ; on which account it is possible that a great proportion 
of this radiation escapes detection altogether, for rays which traverse 
substances without any check can produce no perceptible effects at all. 

The photographs obtained by making the radiations permanently 
record their own path furnish valuable data for the mathematician 


and for the experimentalist. Thus it is clearly seen that, under the 
influence of magnetism, the /3-rays describe circles of varying radius ; 
whence it follows that they vary in velocity. It is also clearly seen 
that the yS- and 7-rays are perfectly distinct, for there is marked dis- 
continuity between the least deflected /9-rays and the totally unde- 
flected 7-rays. Furthermore, the photographs show that it is the 
7-rays and the least deflected yQ-rays which most easily penetrate 
obstacles placed in their path ; but where /3- or 7-rays are checked by 
the substances they traverse, they give rise to secondary rays 
emanating from those substances rays not due to reflection or 
diffusion, but analogous rather to phosphorescence, for they have not 
precisely the same properties as the rays which call them forth. The 
a -rays cannot pass through obstacles, and are totally absorbed even 
by air at a very short distance from their source. 

The chief difference between positive and negative radiation, 
wheresoever found, is this. Negative radiation is formed of those 
inconceivably minute particles called electrons, which some physicists 
believe may consist entirely of electricity ; while positive radiation is 
formed of particles which seem to be of the order of atoms, and which, 
hence, are, when compared with electrons, of enormous size and mass. 
The velocity of the radiations varies greatly. In the cathode rays it 
is one-fifth that of light ; in the /3-rays of radium the highest value 
is about one-third that of light. ' Slow ' negative rays, such as some 
of those which can be drawn out of metal by the agency of the light 
of the electric arc, or other source rich in ultra-violet rays, have a 
velocity which is about a hundredth that of light. It is interesting to 
note that the feeble magnetism of the earth suffices to curve the slower 
radiations. The apparent convergence of the rays of an aurora 
borealis is an optical effect believed to be due to this cause. Positive 
radiation is more difficult to study, and little is known about it yet. 
The a-rays of radium have a velocity which is a twentieth that of light. 
In uranium radiation there seem to be no a-rays ; but since wherever 
electricity of one sign is made manifest an equal quantity of electricity 
of the opposite sign is liberated somewhere, the probability is that in 
this and in other cases where we perceive negative radiation alone, the 
positive charge is left on atoms which remain in the substance itself. 

The effect which is by far the most sensitive test of the existence 
of these invisible radiations, and which is, moreover, the only effect 
capable of quantitative measurement, is that of rendering air conduc- 
tive to electricity. In the phraseology of that theory which is at 
present held to be the best means of co-ordinating the facts, the radia- 
tions ionise the air. According to this theory, the impact of the radia- 
tions causes a certain atomic dislocation in some of the particles of 
the air, so that these particles are separated into those positive and 
negative parts which, in all matter, neutralise one another when united 
parts similar to those of which the charged radiations themselves are 


composed. It is the movement of these parts under the influence of 
electric forces which constitutes the current. Independently of any 
theory, we know as experimentally proved facts that the change in 
the air which makes it conductive is accompanied by the formation 
of centres upon which water-vapour can condense, for air which was 
dust free and perfectly clear may become cloudy after ionisation; 
that these centres are positively and negatively charged, for they 
can be drawn away by an electric field ; that their velocity is not high, 
for they can be blown out of their course by even a feeble current of 
air ; and that the removal of these ' ions ' destroys the conductibility 
of the air. Hence it is a legitimate inference, and independent of any 
hypothesis as to their nature, that the conductibility is due to the 
ions. It is the more necessary to distinguish between proved facts, 
which are an abiding possession, and the more or less ephemeral 
theories based upon those facts, because physicists now look upon 
theories of any kind as little else but convenient tools. ' The merit of 
a theory,' it has been recently said, ' consists not in being true, for 
no theories are true, but in being fertile ' that is to say, in being 
not only a satisfactory and self-consistent representation of the 
totality of the facts, so far as we know them, but also in suggesting 
by the images used in which direction to seek for further knowledge. 
When, as is the case with the theory of ions, calculations made on 
the suppositions involved in the pictorial representation lead to far- 
reaching conclusions, which have been verified when put to the test of 
experiment and observation, then the theory is certainly fertile ; and 
a theory can only be fertile, one would imagine, in virtue of bearing, 
in however remote a degree, some resemblance to the truth. 

By the test of ionisation it would appear from the researches of 
several physicists that radio-activity is, in a feeble degree, a property 
of very many substances, and, indeed, perhaps of all. 

An exceedingly interesting series of observations made by the 
German physicists Elster and Geitel has proved the universality of 
radio-activity from another point of view. About ten years ago, 
while studying atmospheric electricity, they found that even in the 
driest air, and in spite of all precautions, it was not possible to keep 
an instrument charged for any length of time without some loss. As 
it was necessary for their observations that they should be able to 
have entire confidence in their tools, they tested their instruments by 
leaving them charged for some time in vacua. There being then no 
loss of charge, there was evidently no leakage through insufficient 
insulation of the supports in the instruments themselves, and the loss 
could only be due to a certain slight conductibility of atmospheric 
air, for which they could not account. It was known that air can be 
ionised by ultra-violet light, and they were inclined at first to attribute 
the conductibility to ionisation of the atmosphere by ultra-violet sun- 
light. But when, in order to test this supposition, they conducted 


experiments in the air of caves and cellars, they found that the con- 
ductibility, instead of being less than in air exposed to sunlight, was, 
on the contrary, very much greater. While they were still searching 
for the cause of the ionisation, which was evidently not due to sun- 
light and, indeed, the rays which cause ionisation are largely absorbed 
in the upper regions of the atmosphere progress was being made in 
the study of radio-activity. Almost simultaneously, hi 1899, Ruther- 
ford discovered with compounds of thorium, and Curie with com- 
pounds of radium, that, in addition to the radiations, these elements 
emit something else. This something else, to which Rutherford gave 
the name emanation, cannot be weighed, gives no clearly distinctive 
lines when examined spectroscopically, has none of the mechanical 
properties of a gas, does not act chemically in any way we can detect, 
and, indeed, yields, so to speak, no evidence whatever for its exist- 
ence, save that where it passes or where it settles, there it gives rise 
to radio-activity. Any substance whatever which is left for some 
time in the vicinity of the radio-active salt becomes itself temporarily 
radio-active. The emanation diffuses throughout an enclosed space 
as a gas would diffuse, only, apparently, it passes through very narrow 
openings with more ease ; it is checked by everything that checks a 
gas ; it can, like a gas, be pumped or blown out of a vessel ; it dis- 
appears at the temperature of liquid air, and reappears when the 
temperature is raised ; its absence or presence being in every case 
manifested by the absence or presence of the induced radio-activity. 
This induced radio-activity can be measured in the usual way 
namely, by the extent to which it renders air conductive ; and it 
has been found that when radium emanation is left in a closed vessel 
without the radium salt which has given rise to it, this definite amount, 
whatever it may be, diminishes by half in four days. If, however, 
the vessel be open to the air, then the emanation diminishes by half 
in twenty-eight minutes. With actinium, which is very active 
thorium, the emanation diminishes by half in a closed vessel in three 
seconds. Constants of time such as these may serve to determine 
the nature of a radio-active substance, when it is found in quantities 
too small for any chemical test to be of the slightest avail. 

The connection between the emanation and the radiations is as 
yet a matter for more or less plausible conjecture. The emanation 
disappears that is to say, it becomes lost to our means of detection 
and in disappearing it gives rise to radiations. Becquerel considers 
it best to look upon the emanation as the primary phenomenon, and 
to suppose that the radiations are always due to the break-up of 
emanation, whether that emanation be entangled, so to speak, in the 
pores of the substance itself, or whether it has diffused away from 
the substance and settled elsewhere. There is, however, no evidence 
for this explanation or for any other. 

What we do know for certain is that the emanation is attracted by 


negatively charged metal, and that it can thus be collected and con- 
centrated. After this discovery, which was made as soon as the 
emanation itself was detected, Elster and Geitel conducted experi- 
ments to determine whether the ionisation of the atmosphere might 
be due to radio-activity. They fixed a cylinder, formed of thirty 
metres of wire, in the open air, and kept it negatively charged to a 
high potential. They found that if they rubbed the wire every few 
hours with a tiny bit of leather steeped in ammonia or in hydrochloric 
acid, the leather became radio-active, and that when they burnt the 
leather the ash was radio-active. By thus concentrating on a small 
surface the emanation collected on the whole cylinder during many 
hours, they were able to obtain, not only the ionisation effect, but 
also the photographic effect, for which much stronger radio-activity 
is required. It soon became evident that the atmosphere every- 
where and always contains radio-active emanation, more or less, and 
the next question was : Whence does that emanation arise ? Care- 
fully conducted experiments proved that it is not due to any con- 
stituent of the air itself ; it arises from the earth. Air taken from the 
soil may contain so much emanation that, if properly concentrated, it 
will even yield the phosphorescent effect. Water which has passed 
through the earth contains emanation in solution. This is especially 
the case with mineral waters, and it has been suggested that the 
curative properties may, in certain cases, be partly due to the radio- 
activity ; if so, that would explain the puzzling fact that some waters lose 
their virtue when removed from their source, since, however carefully the 
vessel was closed, the emanation would nevertheless disappear. Whence 
this universally diffused emanation arises is not yet known ; researches 
to determine the substances which produce it are being carried on now. 
The amount of matter in question is so infinitesimal that experi- 
menters have not yet been able to detect any loss of weight in their 
radio-active salts to account for the unceasingly emitted emanation. 
This is, however, not so strange as it may sound at first, for it is paral- 
leled by facts with which we are perfectly familiar. Scent, which is on 
good grounds believed to be a material emanation, is not necessarily 
accompanied by loss of weight, not even when it is as strongly marked 
as in the case of musk. The fact is that where our senses do give us 
direct evidence they may be far more sensitive than any indirect 
means we can devise. Thus we know of the existence of a 
multitude of emanations by no other test than our sense of smell. 
Where, on the other hand, our senses fail us, there we may remain 
in total ignorance until we learn in some indirect way. The most 
striking example of this self-evident, though too often forgotten, fact 
is furnished by electricity. We are in the position as regards electricity 
of a deaf man, who only knows that there is sound when he sees motion 
or feels vibration ; for it is only indirectly that we can perceive it, 
seeing that we lack an electric sense. Yet, step by step, by indirect 


means, we have learnt that electricity is the most universal of agents, 
and now we are learning, also by indirect means, of the existence in 
nature of hitherto unsuspected subtle emanations, electrically charged 
radiations, and radiations to which no substance is opaque. 

The most plausible hypothesis respecting the radiations of the 
X-rays type is probably that which was formulated by Stokes namely, 
that they are ethereal vibrations which differ from light as noise 
differs from music ; that is to say, that they do not belong to that 
series of rays produced by continuous rhythmic vibrations, which 
includes light, radiant heat, and the electro-magnetic waves which 
are utilised in wireless telegraphy, but that they are irregular pulses 
in the ether. In the case of the Rontgen rays, the pulses would be 
produced by the impact of the cathode rays upon the surfaces which 
check them ; in the case of the 7-rays, by the ethereal commotion 
caused by the emission of the charged radiations. In 1902, Blondlot 
noticed that if Rontgen rays fell upon a small electric spark they 
somewhat increased the brightness of that spark, and he thought to 
utilise this effect in an elaborately devised experiment for obtaining 
the velocity of the Rontgen rays. The velocity he found by this 
means was equal to that of light, and this seemed an important step 
towards knowledge of their nature. As he proceeded in his experi- 
mental work, however, he noticed that the rays which affect the 
spark were polarised, and that these polarised rays could be refracted 
by passing them through crystals. But it is abundantly evident that 
X-rays cannot be refracted, and therefore Blondlot perceived that 
there must be some mistake in the conclusions at which he had arrived. 
A simple test experiment made the matter perfectly clear. He inter- 
posed a prism of aluminium between the source of the X-rays and the 
spark, by the appearance of which he had thought to detect their 
influence, choosing aluminium because it is a substance which is 
transparent to X-rays and opaque to visible light. The X-rays 
passed undeviated through the prism, and produced no effect what- 
ever on the spark. When, however, the spark was shifted into a 
position in which it was struck by rays which were deviated by the 
prism, then the former effect was perceived. Thus Blondlot saw that 
he had not succeeded in measuring the velocity of the Rontgen rays, 
but that he had discovered, mixed with them, some extremely 
penetrating rays which had the physical properties of ordinary light. 

Further study has made him feel certain that these N-rays, as he 
calls them, do belong to the same category as light. They produce 
none of those photographic or phosphorescent effects which have 
so greatly aided the study of the Becquerel rays, and the only charac- 
teristic by which they can be recognised is that they cause a change 
in the luminosity of pre-existent phosphorescence, or of any feeble 
light or feebly illuminated surface a change which it requires some 
practice to be able to appreciate, and which is not visible to every 
observer even then. On this account Blondlot's conclusions are not 


yet universally accepted. One objective proof of the correctness of 
his observations has, however, been furnished. If a small electric 
spark is caused to produce a photograph of itself all necessary pre- 
cautions being taken to avoid error the difference that it makes in 
the photographic appearance of the spark, whether it is being acted 
upon by N-rays or not, is marked and unmistakable. 

Blondlot has measured the wave-length of the N-rays by methods 
similar to those employed for ordinary light. As a source of the 
rays he uses a Nernst lamp, enclosed in a dark lantern, with a window 
of aluminium, thus effectually cutting off all luminous rays. In 
front of the window there is a screen, formed of layers of aluminium 
and black paper, to cut off all the heat rays which proceed from the 
metal. This precaution is especially necessary in all these experi- 
ments, seeing that phosphorescence is so extremely sensitive to heat. 
Since N-rays do not pass through water, if it is pure though they do 
pass through salt water, as well as through aluminium, wood, and 
many other substances a screen of wet cardboard in which there is 
a narrow slit permits of the isolation of a beam, which can be focussed 
and dispersed by lenses and prisms of aluminium. Like the visible 
rays, the N-rays are heterogeneous ; the wave-lengths that have been 
measured vary, but they are all at least a hundred times smaller 
than that of the furthest ultra-violet rays that had been hitherto 
known rays which do not reach us from the sun at all, since they are 
entirely absorbed by the atmosphere, and which, when obtained from 
the electric light, must be measured in vacuo, for a very little air 
is as opaque to them as if the air were lead. Yet the N-rays, which 
lie so very much further beyond the violet end of the spectrum, are 
largely contained in sunlight, thus proving that they lie outside the 
limit of the radiations which the air cuts off. N-rays are absorbed 
by many substances, and then afterwards emitted ; whether changed 
or not in character we cannot yet tell, but in any case there is here a 
close and important analogy with phosphorescence. 

The point, however, which is perhaps of the most general interest 
with respect to these researches is this. There seems to be clear 
evidence already that there are other radiations besides those the 
wave-length of which has been determined, which are being discovered 
by means of this new test. Some of these may belong to a totally 
different part of the long series of ethereal vibrations which reach us 
from the sun, while others may be of an entirely different order. For 
the present all the radiations, which had not hitherto been detected, 
and which produce the same effects as the rays which Blondlot noticed 
at first, are grouped together as N-rays ; but there are physicists who 
believe that further study will enable important distinctions to be 
made, and that with respect to this whole subject of invisible 
radiation, in the widest acceptation of that term, we are only on the 
threshold of discovery. 





WE cannot change our climate. Is it not possible to greatly ameliorate 
the part it plays in two propositions of grave national importance ? 
These are 

(1) That the climate of these islands is in the main favourable to 
the development of certain diseases widely prevalent within its range, 
and adding great numbers to our yearly death-roll. 

(2) That the atmospheric conditions of the life of the poor in 
London and other great cities are not, and probably never will be, 
favourable to the healthy development of the race. 

As air is the first of our vital needs, so what may be called 
* atmospheric hygiene ' is the first force by which both these dangers 
should be met. It has been the last to attract the attention of the 
public or to engage the resources of science. It is true that public 
faith, so long fastened on the medicine bottle, has been in some 
measure diverted to Open Air as a curative formula ; and that 
sanitary science, not confined to drains, to food, and to water, has 
included in its purview questions of ventilation and cubic air space 
per individual. It is with the first subject, which in many of its 
aspects includes the second, that this article is mainly concerned. 

The gospel of Open Air has been widely preached, and has made 
many converts ; large funds have been generously provided for putting 
the doctrine into practice, and an ample measure of success has 
already been achieved. Do not these facts justify the hope that 
when the real nature of the question at issue is understood, and 
its vast potentialities are revealed by closer examination, neither 
science nor philanthropy will be satisfied to stop at the threshold of 
progress ? 

Quantity has been the chief guide hitherto in the application of 
air, whether to disease or to overcrowded habitations. But the 
quality of the air, its condition, its properties, its intricate composition ; 
the bearing of these on the special requirements of different com- 
plaints ; the suggested possibility of assimilating the air of our climate 
to that of other climates known to be beneficial to particular diseases, so 
converting it into a curative agent before it is breathed by the patient 

VOL. LVI No. 329 97 H 


these offer a vast field of investigation, and perhaps a rich harvest of 
relief to a multitude of sufferers. Few and shallow as yet are the 
furrows which science and medicine, working hand in hand, have 
driven in that great field. In another country a munificent endow- 
ment has been given by a patriotic citizen for a systematic investiga- 
tion of the nature and treatment of consumption. 1 But consumption 
is only one of the diseases which come within the scope of treated air. 
Already, happily, the first experiment in this greater subject has 
been tried, the first results achieved and demonstrated, in England 
in London. If we stand still, and the organised investigations of 
American science and medicine should in the end point to this as the 
true line of progress, what will then remain to be said of us here in 
England ? That, shutting our eyes to the light, we were content to 
lag behind, to follow only where others led the way, and to leave the 
credit of a great achievement to a more enterprising and more generous 

The necessity of the case arises from two causes, the one natural, 
the other artificial but permanent ; for the conditions of our popula- 
tion as to residence are not less fixed than those of our climate. 

Our climate is not all bad. It is a question whether on the whole any 
other could have been of greater advantage. We are still surprised at 
times at its behaviour, as though not yet perfectly familiar with it. But 
as a fact we are acclimatised, not perhaps in the sense of our trees and 
vegetation, or of some extinct race of aborigines for whom the 
climate was made and who were made for the climate. We are not 
grown in it as a race ; but after some centuries of habitation we have 
grown to it. The asperities of the British climate did not drive our 
imperial conquerors from their cherished Ultima Thule ; and succes- 
sive races of invaders have held it dear. Indeed, they have 
thriven and prospered, enduring climatic hardship to a good purpose, 
it would seem. Some enthusiasts hold that it is the best of 
climates. It has promoted open-air life and sport; and it was in 
England that the Open Air treatment was first preached by Bodington, 
and in Ireland by MacCormac, long before the crusade against con- 
sumption. Undeniably it has kept us a strong race. ' Physical 
deterioration,' which is under investigation by a Royal Commission, 
is really due not to the operation of climatic influences, but to 
their partial suspension by artificial conditions of life. Nor is our 
climate devoid of moral effect in the formation of the national quality 
of patience. ' Temperate,' in a technical sense, its merciless varia- 
bility is a mental as well as physical discipline. It is a ' universal 
exerciser ' not only for the body but the mind, preparing us to sur- 

1 The Henry Phipps Institute, at Philadelphia ; an admirable instance of the 
endowment of a fully-equipped institute for the progressive study of the prevention 
and cure of a single disease, until that disease shall be rendered preventable and 


mount obstacles and endure disappointments which we cannot foresee, 
and stimulating us_like the rigid alternations of the hot and cold 
water douche. 

It is not, however, with the virtues but the shortcomings of our 
climate that we are now concerned. Good as it is for health, it is also 
good for the prevalence and development of some of our diseases so 
good, in fact, that we may classify them for the present purpose as 
climatic diseases. We have got rid of ague ; not, it is significant to 
note, by treating the complaint, but by treating its cause. Land 
drainage would banish ague even from the swamps of Africa. But 
consumption, with its insidious approach, its long delay, its fatal end ; 
rheumatism, reading heart disease for so many ; kidney disease, in its 
chronic form ; bronchial diseases, lightly termed ' affections ' ; gout, 
with its evil connections for all these the best cure is climate of 
another kind. 

Thousands of fortunate people pursue that cure, on the Riviera, 
at Davos, in Colorado, Mexico, and many other places too numerous 
to mention, where special virtues have been found in the climate. 
Yet there remain hundreds of thousands, the vast majority of the 
sufferers, whose means do not and never will enable them to leave 
this country, who are thrown back ceaselessly on its climatic dis- 
advantages, and compelled to carry on a long and often hopeless 
struggle with a natural and native foe. Their helplessness appeals 
to us, and should not appeal in vain if, as we believe, a great 
measure of emancipation is consistent with economic conditions that 
cannot be altered. 

It is the story of Mahomet and the mountain. If the patient 
cannot visit other climates, the air of other climates should be brought 
to the patient. The elemental forces in the air of those climates 
which make for cure exist in part in ours, but Nature has made them 
subordinate to other and less favourable forces ; science may suppress 
these and bring forward those. If they do not exist, science may 
some day produce them. Then to some extent in any building, 
however large, more completely in an enclosed cubic space, the patient 
would be enabled to breathe air which by scientific treatment had 
been assimilated in its essential properties to the air of health resorts 
thousands of miles distant from England. 

This proposition, startling as it may sound, is already passing out 
of the stage of theory. At an institution 2 known for its successful 
treatment of wounds, ulcers, and lupus by oxygen and ozone, 
a significant example has been given by the erection of enclosed 
cubicles, in which consumptive patients breathe treated air, and 
are subjected to conditions analogous to those which cure consump- 
tion at places like Davos or Tenerife. We learn that encouraging 

2 The Oxygen Hospital, Fitzroy Square, under the patronage of H.E.H. Princess 
Louise, Duohess of Argyll. 

H 2 


results have been observed, such as the reduction of temperature, 
the disappearance of tubercle bacilli, the relief of cough, and the 
increase of weight. This is mentioned as an illustration, and because 
it is only fair not to overlook any credit attaching to a first experi- 
ment. Its originator would probably be the last to claim that in its 
present stage it contains more than the germ of a great movement. 

Let us examine very briefly the possibilities that lie within the 
range of a more complete and organised development of this great 
reserve of our natural resources. The cure of consumption is among 
the hardest of our tasks, and more than we could venture to hope for 
as a result of any one system of treatment. But it is less difficult 
to realise the protection that might be afforded against rheumatism, 
heart disease, and kidney disease by mitigating certain properties in 
the atmosphere that surrounds the patient. If treated air should 
prove, with the co-operation of other hygienic factors, of great value in 
these and other ailments, it would solve the economic or social difficulty 
inseparable from a population like ours, of which only a small per- 
centage of sufferers can visit other climates. It would meet another 
difficulty which attends the Open Air treatment at home. It is 
applicable to London and other great towns, where the great majority 
of the sick cannot, for want of means, be sent to open air sanatoria in 
the country. As a form of treatment it could find its domicile in 
every town hospital. It would not remove the patient from the 
centre of science and medicine, but would place the best resources 
of these at his disposal, and enrich and develop them by the oppor- 
tunities afforded for observation and study. 

Mention has already been made of the variety of diseases, widely 
prevalent in this country, which might be brought within the range 
of a systematic investigation of the possibilities of treated air. When 
we consider how numerous and diverse those possibilities are, we are 
justified in saying that at present little is known and little has been 
done in this direction, and in asking if we can calmly contemplate a 
continuance of our inactivity and ignorance. We have purified 
water ; distilled, aerated, and medicated it. We use it for purposes 
of cure in every variety that nature can provide or science can 
apply. What has been done for air, beyond mechanical ventilation, 
modifying or increasing the abundance of its supply without any 
improvement in its quality ? Compressed air and rarefied air have 
been used. Establishments exist for the inhalation of steam and 
medicinal vapours. Oxygen, too, has been summoned to the aid of 
the sick. But these have been casual expedients of the nature of 
' sittings.' Nowhere, save in the instance already mentioned, have 
the means been provided of continuous application by enabling the 
patient to live for a given time in treated air. 

The main constituents and the main qualities of air are well known. 
Its finer constituents and qualities are only now gaining recognition. 

1904 MEDICATED A IB 101 

The temperature, the moisture, and the pressure of the atmosphere have 
already been submitted to control ; and it might even now be possible 
to provide within a limited cubic space a succession of artificial atmo- 
spheres differing in their value for purposes of treatment. But the 
finer characters of natural climates for instance, their tonic or their 
relaxing quality are not wholly to be explained on so simple a basis. 
As the proportion of oxygen, nitrogen, and carbonic acid is known 
to show hardly any local variations, these subtle climatic properties 
possibly depend upon the more variable influence of light, of elec- 
tricity, of magnetism, and of the latest of our additions to the attri- 
butes of air, radio-activity. The recent observations made in Switzer- 
land that the air at a moderate altitude is several times more radio- 
active than in the valley favour the hope that a future elucidation of 
the mysteries of climate may result from a study of the physical 
agents already known to us, and of others yet to be discovered. 

Is it not clear from this brief survey that the field of investiga- 
tion before us is vast and varied, and that the treatment of air may 
become at least as important as the Open Air treatment ? The two 
subjects are closely connected, and it is a question whether 
the Open Air treatment, in this country at least, can have the fair 
trial its great possibilities demand, without being complemented by 
an efficient control of the condition of the air itself. Extremes of cold 
or heat, of damp or dryness, mists and fogs, constant changes of wind, 
cannot be regarded as a helpful part of the treatment, and need to be 
eliminated. The relative quality of local climates is another important 
consideration. Above all, it must not be forgotten that the suitability 
of the climate is an individual question. It is well known that even 
Davos does not suit all cases of consumption, and the best of health 
resorts would be the better for facilities for modifying its local atmo- 
sphere to meet individual indications. 

No inquiry into this matter can fail to open up an important 
question affecting the construction both of our sanatoria and our 
town hospitals. In the former provision for suitable air is not a care 
of the future, but of the present. Sanatoria must live up to their 
name. With cure as their object they must follow every advance, 
if they cannot lead it, and provide for each condition the best air that 
science can produce. Have they been planned with this progressive 
end in view ? 

The suitability of our older hospitals for the Open Air method, 
including all the improvements in it which are within sight, is another 
anxious matter. From this aspect alone, irrespective of any new 
departure which further discoveries may at any time force upon us, there 
is a certain responsibility in planning monumental hospitals of a dura- 
bility ' worthy of the Romans ' instead of lighter buildings not intended 
to survive so long their inevitable obsolescence. Within the near 
future our ideas as to the internal distribution of space and of wards 


may undergo modification in connection with the necessity for ex- 
tending an improved application of the Open Air principle, and of 
supplying not damaging but healing air. Have our hospitals been 
designed to include this purpose ? 

To elucidate all these problems and satisfy their requirements, 
prolonged and systematic investigation and patient observations 
are necessary. The result may bring us to the strange conclusion 
that after all the best treatment for our climatic diseases is the only 
one possible to the vast majority of those who suffer from them, to 
stay at home ; and the best sanatorium one where every facility for 
aerotherapy may in the future be obtainable. 

If, by sufficient study, we could ultimately learn to treat the air 
so as to fairly reproduce for practical purposes of treatment the 
virtues of various climates, a great advance would have been made. 
And, besides imitating climates artificially, we might in the future be 
able to create climates to suit the individual requirement just as we 
regulate the dose of medicine or of electricity, by varying the supply 
of the normal constituents and qualities of air and by adding bene- 
ficial agents. To analyse the factors in the air of a climate might 
enable us to compound it as we compound a chemical body. That 
this treatment of the atmosphere is a practical possibility is becoming 
known to men of science ; that it is worth doing will be obvious to 
physicians ; that it is being tried has already been shown. How soon 
it shall be tried on an adequate scale is a question for the nation. 
The range of investigation which in the future is open to us in this 
direction is boundless. 

It remains to suggest and, not without hesitation, to formulate a 
scheme by which the conclusions arrived at might be embodied in a 
great national enterprise. 

It is strange that in an age illuminated by its discoveries pure 
science has as yet done so little for health. Though we may not be 
so enthusiastic as Metchnikofi about prolonging life, still we may 
hope for some improvement if we know how to earn it. Hitherto 
medicine has gleaned rather than reaped in the fields of science, 
or has caught here and there a casual seed which was to fructify 
under its own care. There is an illimitable harvest, if only men of 
pure science are secured as practical associates in our work. They 
are the explorers fully equipped. Agents of progress themselves, 
their collaboration with its other agents should be a direct one. 
A new organisation is needed, in which pure science should be given 
the place it alone can fill. This should include scientific men in 
working combination with the men who have practical experience in 
the actual treatment of disease. To assist the cure of the sick and 
suffering might then become a welcome function of the man of 
science, as it is the professional duty of the medical man. 

The practical requisites for such a scheme would be 


1. A Hospital for the treatment of disease with the help of atmo- 
spheric as well as other agents ; not necessarily a very large or costly 
hospital, for special construction and equipment would be more 
important than size. A hospital is the only place where clinical and 
therapeutical methods can be applied with systematic thoroughness, 
so that the results can be identified with the factors of treatment, 
and the knowledge thus gained diffused far and wide with authority. 

2. An Institute for the study of atmospheric hygiene in relation 
to (a) the treatment of disease, (&) the improvement of the health and 
strength of the healthy. The institute would be worked in connection 
with the hospital, and would represent on a large scale the functions 
of the clinical and pathological laboratories attached to an ordinary 
hospital-. The staff of the institute might consist of (a) a consulta- 
tive board, including, in addition to physicians and surgeons, men 
eminent in each branch of science : physicists, chemists, physiolo- 
gists, electricians, radiographers, architects, engineers, and others ; 
(&) a smaller group of experts to collaborate with the medical staff. 

Need we ask what would be gained by such a combination ? All 
problems of treatment involving chemistry or physics would be 
studied and worked out in their various aspects, including the practical 
side of finance, by the highest authorities of the institute, and, if 
judged practicable, their final elaboration carried out by the joint 
scientific and medical staff of the hospital. In this way, for the first 
time, pure science would be handling the practical work of healing. 

A rSsume of these ideas, which are probably novel to most, may be 
of service to the reader. 

No new cure for consumption or for any other diseases is contained 
in these pages. Their object is to reveal the extent to which our 
knowledge and our use of curative agencies available in a promising 
direction have been unnecessarily delayed. 

Open Air, the greatest of all modern advances in the treatment of 
consumption, can never be superseded ; it only needs to be improved 
and, if necessary, supplemented. Its application extends far beyond 
consumption. But our open air does not always suit our ehief 
ailments so well as open air elsewhere at selected stations. 

The advantage of climate as a protection or as a cure should not 
remain the exclusive privilege of the few ; some equivalent at least 
should be provided for the many. 

This national duty is specially a London duty, for in London, 
with its millions of breathers of used-up air and with its miles of 
contaminated atmosphere, it is combined with another national duty 
that of stopping the deterioration of the race, and of providing for 
the healthy development of the young. This necessarily involves 
as a first essential a progressive study how to improve the air we 
breathe in the sick-room, in the sleeping- room, in the school-room, 
and in the workshop. 


The difficult task of producing special atmospheres for the pre- 
vention or relief of some of our climatic diseases, for which special 
climates are distinctly beneficial, is beyond the unaided powers of 
medical art. It could not be successfully attempted without a 
systematic collaboration between the representatives of pure science 
and practical engineering and those of medicine. This calls for an 
institute for the experimental study of atmospheric hygiene in all its 
aspects, combined with a hospital for practical observation and treat- 
ment, not limited to any one system, but capable of readjustment to 
every future advance. Under such a combination problems relating 
to the construction and plant of hospitals and sanatoria, as well as 
those of medical treatment, which have not hitherto been submitted 
conjointly to comparative study, would be continuously worked at, 
and the results made available for all charitable institutions through- 
out the land. 

Labour and delay are inseparable from the attainment of practical 
results in the treatment of disease, and still more in connection with 
atmospheric hygiene as relating to the ventilation of houses and towns. 
This twofold necessity strengthens the claim for prompt action. For 
solid clinical results, however, we may not have to wait so long. A 
hospital duly equipped would from the first be fulfilling an urgent work of 
relief, on those less complicated lines which have already been found 
successful, and any other simple lines to come. To generous supporters 
of the scheme this would be an immediate reward. It would encourage 
and sustain those engaged in the weary work of research, and provide 
the first fruits of that matured and systematic co-operation between 
medicine and science for which this article is an earnest appeal. 




UNDER the laws of most countries women possess no legal rights, no 
political freedom ; they do enjoy certain privileges, but of these they 
may be deprived at any moment by the same power that granted 
them the ballot is the only weapon with which to secure and retain 
legal and political rights. * Advance Australia ' is our national motto, 
and we Australian women have good reason to glory in the advance 
of our country, which, in granting women absolute political equality 
with men, has reached a position unique in the world's history. Philo- 
sophers, poets, and statesmen have rhapsodised about the beauty 
and the blessing of representative government, but few have pictured 
women as co-partners in such a form of government. America was 
the birthplace of modern democracy, but America has never dreamt 
in its philosophy of applying the fundamental principles of the Declara- 
tion of Independence to American women. No, it has been left to 
the newest of nations to admit that as ' men are created equal . . . 
endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ... to secure 
these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers 
from the consent of the governed,' so shall women be endowed with 
the rights that are considered the just due of sane, law-abiding, 
naturalised men. 

The Australian constitution has no sex limitations whatever ; 
women vote on equal terms with men, they are eligible for member- 
ship in our National Parliament, they may even ascend to the dignity 
of office. That the constitution establishes the principle of no sex in 
politics is an unparalleled triumph for the woman suffrage party, 
which does not forget to give honour where honour is due, to the men 
of Australia, who have grown so far in democratic sentiment that they 
can tolerate the idea of living with political equals, an idea up to 
which John Stuart Mill said the men of his time were not educated. 

It says a great deal for the educative value of the vote that the 
prejudice against women entering Parliament is more pronounced 
amongst women than it is amongst men. It took about twenty years 
to educate the women of Australia up to the point of asking for the 
franchise, and they are going to stick there for some time before they 
go any further. Nothing dies so hard as prejudice, and it is prejudice 



alone that blinds them to the fact that it is necessary and desirable 
to have women in Parliament. The vote in itself is a powerful weapon 
for good, but men, as the result of years of experience, have discovered 
that direct parliamentary representation is essential if full effect is 
to be given to the vote : they know that the entrance of women into 
Parliament is the natural and logical outcome of the minor reform ; 
therefore, they do not view with such horror, as do many women, 
the prospect of seeing women within the sacred precincts of Parlia- 
ment. Indeed, it is because the sacredness of Parliament is such a 
myth that so many public-spirited men desire to see women there. 
They well know the limitations of their own sex. It always has been 
the ' privilege ' of woman to tidy up after man. Man seems to be 
constitutionally unable to keep things tidy. Take the daily round, 
the common task he leaves the bathroom in a state of flood, his 
dressing-room a howling wilderness of masculine paraphernalia, his 
office a chaos of ink and papers ; the wonder is he ' gets there ' so well 
as he does. Untidy at home, untidy in business, so is he untidy in 
the nation ; he does his best, but as he does not understand the first 
principles of household management, he gets the national household 
into a terrible state of muddle. He is so busy looking after the big 
things, that he forgets all about the little things that make the big 
things a success, instead of a failure. And so the women have to 
come along and help to evolve order out of chaos ; but they suffer no 
illusions as to the magnitude of their task. The work of tidying 
up public affairs is not the work of a day, nor of a generation ; it is 
primarily a matter of slow education, which must begin in the home 
and be founded on an ethical basis. Some think that, if women do 
their duty in their homes, nothing further is required, no public duty 
should be expected of them ; but women cannot train their sons and 
daughters in the varied, complex, and sacred duties of citizenship 
unless they possess a first-hand knowledge of what citizenship means. 
Women are not made safe advisers of their children by being kept 
ignorant of all that citizenship involves. Public spirit is a great 
need of the age. We wonder why public affairs are so badly managed ; 
it is partly because those who conduct them have been trained by 
women who had no conception of public duty, who knew not the 
meaning of public spirit, who, consequently, could not be expected 
to equip their sons properly for the public arena. Give women the 
vote and you prepare the way for a new order of things ; by giving 
women political power you give them an incentive to study, or at 
least to interest themselves in public questions, and the effect of their 
enlarged interests will be beneficial both to home and State. 

The political incentive is now the possession of the women of 
Australia, and its influence was a potent factor in the recent Federal 
elections. The women of South Australia and West Australia have 
had the suffrage for some years, so that they are accustomed to voting, 


but to the women of the other States the whole business was new ; 
nevertheless, they voted in as large numbers proportionally as the 
men in a majority of the constituencies, while in some they cast a 
heavier vote than the men. The total vote was only 52 per cent, of 
the voting strength, the low percentage being due to the fact that the 
people as a body have not yet grasped the Federal idea. Federation 
has not completely scotched provincialism in politics, though it is 
fast doing so, if for no other reason than the enormous cost of govern- 
ment in this country. The people are beginning to realise that we 
are paying the political piper heavily fourteen Houses of Parliament 
and seven viceroyalties for four millions of people ! It is too big an 
order, and common sense, as well as the state of our finances, demands 
that we should simplify our legislative machinery. It is right here, 
as the Americans say, that the women's influence will tell. During 
the election campaign, it was most evident that a very large section 
of the women favoured those candidates who urged economy in public 
expenditure. Individual women, with no idea of the value of money, 
may be extravagant, but most women are compelled by circumstances 
to be economical and have a horror of wasteful expenditure. There- 
fore the growing demand for less expensive legislative machinery will 
find devoted adherents amongst the women voters. As a candidate 
at the recent elections, I attribute to a great degree the large measure 
of support I received to my strong advocacy of economy in administra- 
tion (by the abolition of the State Parliaments, dividing the work 
now done by them between the Federal Parliament and the Municipal 
councils), and the cessation of borrowing except for reproductive 

' Women will vote as their menfolk tell them,' was an argument of 
the anti-suffrage party. The elections proved that, on the whole, the 
women cast an independent vote. Of course they frequently voted 
as their menfolk did, not because they allowed themselves to be 
blindly led in that direction, but because their political judgment 
decided it was the right way. We know that men often vote as they 
are told to vote by their party, or by the particular daily paper they 
make their guide, philosopher, and friend. Many did so in the Federal 
elections, swallowing wholesale the selected ' ticket,' even bringing it 
to the booth with them, so that they could not by any chance make 
a mistake. Several returning officers, although opposed to woman 
suffrage, have stated that the women were not guided by the ' ticket ' 
to anything like the same extent as the men were at any rate, if they 
were, they more effectively concealed the fact that they could not be 
trusted to vote in the best interests of their country unless they were 
told how to by an outside agent. The political parties and the daily 
papers have of late years made an effort to introduce the ' ticket ' 
system of voting into Australian politics, in spite of the knowledge 
that the system has had the most vicious results in the United States ; 


but this time the ' tickets ' got fairly well broken up, an encouraging 
sign to those genuinely patriotic Australians who desire to see the 
people really self-governing, neither press-ridden nor party-ridden. 
The ' ticket ' system is utterly repugnant to all true democratic 
principles. Parliament should be elected by the people, not by one 
man or any small coterie of men. The people's ' ticket ' should be 
the candidates who head the poll. 

If the people of Australia once clearly grasp the inevitable and 
baneful results of the ' ticket ' system, if it be allowed to get the upper 
hand, as it has done in the United States, then we shall have no fear 
of the ultimate result. Bad as are its effects, when it is merely an 
attempt at dictation, it is, if allowed to grow and become absolute, 
a thousand times worse in its consequences on the national character 
and the purity of public life. Australia will not be able to plead 
ignorance, for there is the terrible example of what the ' ticket ' 
system leads to in the present condition of public life in America. No 
one who has not visited America and studied the conditions on the 
spot can have any idea of how corruption has eaten into every phase of 
public life a corruption which is to be clearly traced to the machine 
politics and ' tickets ' of the two great parties there. The promoters 
of great companies, the founders of ' trusts,' all who were anxious to 
build up gigantic fortunes by the unscrupulous exploitation of their 
fellow-countrymen, soon recognised the power that lay in the ' ticket ' 
system. They saw that, if they could capture the caucuses of the 
parties, they would have the whole country in their toils, whenever 
their own party was successful. They had no desire to enter the 
State Legislature or Congress themselves, but they planned that the 
men who were put on the ' tickets ' should be their delegates, their 
creatures, who would do what they were told, and they planned 
successfully. Millions of dollars are subscribed to the party funds, 
newspapers are bought, bribes are scattered with lavish hands, for 
these men know that they will get it all back, with compound interest, 
when they can manipulate the Legislature at their will. 

Thoughtful men in Australia are beginning to see the danger and 
resent the tyranny of the ' ticket ' system, and an organised movement 
against it will certainly be supported by the women. In fact, the 
women of New South Wales and Victoria have, through the media 
of their most influential political organisations, already officially 
declared their hostility to the system, and at the next Federal elections 
we may hope to see those who would foist ' machine ' politics upon 
Australia even more decisively discomfited than they were in December. 

' Women will lose the chivalrous attentions of men if they are 
enfranchised ' was another argument of the distrustful anti-suffragist. 
To the women who are influenced by such a prophecy of man falling 
from his high estate when he finds woman his political equal, I would 
say, ' My dear friends, your fears are groundless. You place a high 


value on the chivalrous attentions that men now show you. Why, 
you have not the remotest idea of the vast stores of chivalry hidden 
away in the inner recesses of man's nature. When you get a vote, 
you will find that the chivalry of the middle ages was a poor thing 
in comparison with that of the twentieth century. The chivalrous 
attentions paid by candidates to women voters are most embarrassing 
Sir Walter Raleighs and De Lorges are thick as leaves in Vallom- 
brosa at election time.' But, joking apart, there is positively nothing 
in the argument, and those who use it have a poor opinion of men if 
they really believe that as soon as women get the vote, men are going 
to help themselves first at dinner, or refuse to pick up a lady's fan or 
escort her to her carriage. Voting means responsibility, responsibility 
means power, and power always commands respect. The Federal 
election showed that those very candidates who had previously 
maintained that women would lose the respect of men and be degraded 
by going to the poll were the most assiduous in courting the women's 
vote. They may have still the utmost contempt for the women who 
would degrade themselves by mixing with men at the polling booths, 
but they wrapped it up in flattery that was calculated to deceive 
the very elect and it did, in some cases. 

The elections had an added interest in the appearance of four 
women candidates in the field Mrs. Martell, Mrs. Moore (New South 
Wales), myself (Victoria), standing for the Senate ; and Miss Selina 
Anderson (New South Wales) for the House of Representatives. All 
were defeated, but the defeat was not unexpected, as we were well 
aware that it would be altogether phenomenal if women were to succeed 
in their first attempt to enter a National Parliament. I do not know 
the salient features of the women candidates' campaign in New South 
Wales, so I shall confine my observations to my own candidature. 
I was nominated by the Women's Federal Political Association of 
Victoria, of which I am the President, and I accepted the nomination 
because I saw at once what a splendid educational value the campaign 
would have. Although we possess the suffrage, there are still many 
women who do not want it, do not see why they should be bothered 
with it, but they only need to have the case for woman suffrage stated 
to them to accept it. At present they take the views of the hostile 
press and the comic papers as the truth about the political woman, 
but when they hear the logic and the sweet reasonableness of woman 
suffrage, when they see that those who voice it have nothing abnormal 
about them, especially when they learn what their legal status is, 
they soon become members of the true political faith. I knew that 
I should attract very much larger audiences as a candidate than if I 
were advertised to give a lecture on woman's part in the Federal 
elections or some such subject. I believed that the people would 
come out of curiosity, and not as single spies but in battalions, to see 
the wild woman that sought to enter Parliament. They came, they 


saw, I conquered : that is, my arguments did ; for no thinking, fair- 
minded man or woman can hold out for five minutes against the 
arguments for woman suffrage unless, indeed, they seek to deny the 
right of self-government, and in these days of storm and stress one 
has no time to waste in arguing with such people. The arguments 
for woman suffrage are also the arguments for women entering Parlia- 
ment, and thus I killed two birds with one stone I broke down the 
prejudice against woman suffrage and against women members of 
Parliament. My audiences numbered from 500 to 1500 people, 
according to the capacity of the hall. Two or three times the atmo- 
sphere was perceptibly chilly as I took the platform, though there 
was never any outward expression of hostility. However, before the 
close of these meetings I can emphatically say that I had the majority 
of the audiences with me on the question of a woman going into 
Parliament. They may not have agreed with my political views ; 
they did agree that it is necessary for women to enter Parliament in 
order to voice the needs of women and children, and my meetings 
always broke up with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of good 
will. Frequently my friends were rather fearful as to how I should 
fare at the hands of those electors who attend election meetings for 
the express purpose of giving the candidate a bad time. They came, 
but they treated me as men at all worthy of the name will always 
treat a woman with the utmost courtesy. Of course I was invariably 
asked the question, ' Are you in favour of a tax on bachelors ? ' As 
I am an unmarried woman, this question was considered the joke of 
the evening ; but when I replied that ' I should be exceedingly sorry 
to accept any proposal that would be likely to encourage some men to 
get married,' the questioner, having an uncomfortable feeling that he 
might be included amongst the undesirables, generally concluded it 
was safer to get back to the domain of practical politics. Addressing 
crowded, orderly, good-humoured, enthusiastic audiences is a delight 
to a public speaker, and I can truthfully say that I thoroughly enjoyed 
my campaign. There were eighteen candidates in the field, and, while 
unsuccessful, my record of 51,497 votes, when 85,387 were sufficient to 
secure election, is most gratifying. I polled more heavily than one 
candidate who has been Premier of Victoria, and than another who 
had been for twenty-six years a member of the State Legislature, 
defeating the one by 24,327, the other by 32,436 votes 51,000 odd 
votes, in spite of the opposition of the powerful daily papers, and the 
prejudice that a pioneer always has to encounter, is nothing less than 
a triumph for the cause that I represent, the cause of women and 

That many women not pledged supporters of the Labour party 
voted for some, if not all, of the Labour candidates, is strongly depre- 
cated by the other rival parties. It would have been strange had 
they done otherwise, considering that it is primarily due to the Labour 

party that woman suffrage is such a live question in Australia. There 
have up to the present been three political parties here Free-traders, 
Protectionists, Labour we have no strongly denned Conservative 
and Liberal parties. The Free-traders and Protectionists have been 
so wedded to their respective fiscal theories that they have deemed 
everything except the tariff of minor importance. Bent on securing 
material prosperity, either by means of high tariff, or revenue tariff, 
or no tariff, they forgot to be just to the women of Australia. The 
Labour party in each State, whether Protectionist or Free-trade, 
placed woman suffrage first ; it fought hard for it, in and out of Parlia- 
ment ; consequently, owing nothing to the other political parties, we 
are not likely to forget the party through which woman suffrage has 
been made a question of practical politics throughout Australia, 
instead of remaining, as in other countries, the four suffrage States in 
America excepted, a purely academic question. I do not believe 
that woman suffrage will ever become a vital question in other countries 
until it is made a fighting plank of the Labour party's platform. 
Recent political history teaches us that every real reform affecting 
human liberties and human rights has come as the result of agitation 
by the people's party, and the Labour party is essentially the people's 
party. These reforms have only been advocated by one of the ortho- 
dox political parties after popular enthusiasm has been aroused by 
the friends of the people. Social, and industrial, and political reforms 
are only won through the enthusiasm that bitter suffering creates. 
Most men and women who are tolerably well circumstanced are 
content to glide along the surface of life. It is those to whom hard 
work brings little but anxiety and suffering, or those in whom sympathy 
and imagination are well developed, who strive to bring about a 
better, a juster social order. Many supporters of woman suffrage 
are found amongst English Liberals and Conservatives, but as parties 
they ignore the principle ; the last Trades Union Congress defeated a 
woman suffrage proposition by the narrow margin of seven votes, 
and that because there was a property qualification advocated instead 
of ' plain ' womanhood. So it seems as if our experience will be the 
experience of the women of England. They will look in vain to the 
orthodox parties to fight their battles for them. The Labour party 
will come forward and present a united front in favour of their enfran- 
chisement ; then it will dawn upon either a Conservative or a Liberal 
Government that it will be a popular political expedient to declare 
for woman suffrage, and the women of Great Britain will find them- 
selves the political equals of their sisters in this country. 

The enfranchisement of the women of Australia has already given 
an impetus to the woman suffrage movement in other countries. 
Last year a suffrage amendment was submitted to the voters in the 
State of New Hampshire, U.S.A., when it secured a larger measure of 
support than has previously been accorded to a similar amendment in 


an Eastern State. Only last week the news was cabled from England 
that a woman suffrage deputation from the Women's Liberal Federa- 
tion had been received by Sir Henry Campbell Bannerman and Mr. 
John Morley, who, while they did not commit the party to the reform, 
expressed themselves in favour of it. Similar action has previously 
been taken by women's political societies in England, similar expres- 
sions of approval have been voiced by leading members of the House 
of Commons, but never has it been considered worth while cabling 
such news to Australia, which would have been of great interest to the 
woman suffrage party here. But now that we have got the suffrage, 
it is held to be important to let us know that the question is also being 
placed before English statesmen. ' In the gain or loss of one race all 
the rest have equal claim,' and we rejoice to know that our great 
suffrage gain is helping other women in their struggle for liberty. 
Our Australia is a baby nation as yet, but she begins life as no other 
nation has begun it, she begins with equal rights for men and women. 

Melbourne, February 1904. 



THE capture of Lhasa by the Eleuths at the beginning of the eighteenth 
century has been quite overlooked in the recent voluminous literature 
on the Tibet question. Perhaps the explanation is that it belongs 
to the least carefully studied period of Asiatic history. The incident 
deserves to be rescued from oblivion at a time when, after the lapse 
of nearly two hundred years, the same task now lies before the soldiers 
of the Indian Government as was successfully accomplished by the 
hordes of Tse Wang Rabdan. This chieftain, whose name will be 
unfamiliar to the general reader, was one of the greatest rulers that 
Central Asia ever produced, defying with no inconsiderable success 
Russia on one side and the famous Chinese Emperor Kanghi on the 
other. It is not a little curious that our principal authority on the 
subject of the campaign in Tibet that we are about to describe should 
be a Russian traveller, Unkoffsky, who visited the Eleuth capital 
not long after the event, and of whose narrative in Russian there is 
a copy in the British Museum library. 

The century which closed with the Eleuth invasion in 1710 was the 
most important in the history of Tibet, for it witnessed the disappear- 
ance of the old reigning dynasty, the establishment of the power of 
the Dalai Lama in its place, the expulsion of the military faction, and 
the arrival of the first Chinese garrison. In earlier times Tibet had 
been ruled by a line of princes who had waged war and made peace 
on equal terms with the Emperors of China, and the last king was 
reigning during at least the first twenty years of the seventeenth 
century. Father Andrada, the missionary who visited Tibet about 
that time, speaks of the king's leanings towards Christianity, and 
perhaps this was the final cause of the downfall of his dynasty. Until 
the year 1625 the Buddhist priests had been content with their priestly 
duties. They had kept to their monasteries and prayer-wheels, and 
although the transmigration of the eternal spirit of Buddha through 
a child was always the essential feature in the recognition and pro- 
clamation of the head of the Tibetan Church, the name of the Dalai 
Lama had not been heard of until the first Manchu Emperor, Chuntche, 
conferred it on the High Priest of Potola in or about the year 1650. 

But for some time previous to that event the priests had been 

VOL. LVI No. 329 113 I 


striving to obtain the control of the civil government, and the com- 
pliments and presents of the Manchu ruler, still insecurely seated on 
the throne of Peking, were the recognition of their success. They had 
come out of their monasteries and entered the political arena. Assum- 
ing the Yellow Cap as their distinctive mark in contrast to the Red 
Cap of the military party, which then enjoyed the ascendency, they 
entered upon a struggle for power which covered the first fifty years 
of the seventeenth century, for it commenced in the life of the last of 
the kings. The Yellow Caps enjoyed the sympathy and support of 
the Chinese, but it is not easy to fix precisely the value of their aid, 
for China herself was passing through the throes of the last Tartar 
conquest. On the other hand the Red Caps, too confident in their 
strength, did not seek assistance in any direction, and when at length 
the priests, pouring out of the lamaseries in thousands, bore down 
on them, they ended the struggle by sheer weight of numbers, and 
the surviving Red Caps had no alternative but to flee into the Hima- 
layan State of Bhutan, where they still enjoy the supremacy that 
they lost in Tibet. The Jongpin who visited Colonel Younghusband's 
camp the other day would in all probability be the descendant of 
one of these Tibetan soldiers who were expelled over 250 years ago 
by the Lamas. This event happened in or a little before 1649, and 
the Chinese Emperor's edict conferring on the High Priest of Potola 
the title of Dalai Lama meaning Ocean Lama, because his learning 
was supposed to be equally vast was the formal recognition of the 
triumph of the Yellow Caps. 

The Lamas, having expelled the regular rulers of the country, 
had to provide for a new government. A civilian official with the 
title of the Tipa was given charge of the civil and military adminis- 
tration in the name of the Dalai Lama. The first Tipa, of whom 
Duhalde wrote : ' This Tipa wore the dress of a lama without having 
to be subject to the heavy obligations of the order ' was the man 
who had chiefly aided the priests in getting rid of their military rivals. 
His son in due course succeeded to his authority, and, being a man of 
great ambition, he was not content with even the slight and nominal 
control of the Dalai Lama. An opportunity was not long in presenting 
itself. The first Dalai Lama died in 1682, and the Tipa then took 
steps to prevent the discovery of his successor. In other words, he 
suppressed the office of Dalai Lama, but while acting thus arbitrarily 
he carefully concealed the truth of the case from the Emperor Kanghi, 
the new ruler of China. The Tipa imposed so skilfully on the Chinese 
ruler that he received as a reward for his loyal and useful services to 
the Dalai Lama the title of Prince of Tibet Tibet Wang at the 
hands of Kanghi. The fraud was not discovered for sixteen years. 
In 1698 the facts became known at Peking, and the indignation and 
astonishment of the Emperor on discovering that he had been imposed 
upon found relief in a series of admirably composed letters and edicts 

1904 THE CAPTURE OF LHASA IN 1710 115 

which the curious reader will find in the interesting pages of the -Abbe 

The Tipa, having tasted the sweets of power, was determined not 
to lose it without an effort, and he looked about him to see who could 
render him aid. Even before he was discovered he had negotiated 
a treaty with Galdan, then at the height of his power and more than 
holding his own against the Chinese. It looks as if it were the discovery 
of their correspondence that first made Kanghi dubious of the Tipa's 
good faith. But although Galdan was not at all unwilling to profit 
by the success of the Tipa, he was not in a position to render him any 
definite support, and without external support it was soon made 
evident that the Tipa could not maintain his position. The lamas 
looked to China, and the suppression of their religious head was not 
at all to their liking. When Kanghi wrote that the true Dalai Lama 
must be found, they quickly fixed upon the suitable child. The Tipa 
fell from his seat of power, and was promptly dealt with as an insub- 
ordinate officer. No difficulty was found in getting rid of him. One 
of his own lieutenants, to whom, as a reward for the deed, was given 
the title of Latsan Khan, killed him at the first opportunity. 

The death of Galdan while these occurrences were going on pro- 
duced a lull in the march of rival policies in Central Asia. The Chinese, 
satisfied with tranquillity, took no steps, while the new king of the 
Eleuths hesitated as to the direction in which he should turn his 
energy. This potentate was Tse Wang Rabdan, and in extenuation 
of his restless turbulence it must be allowed that the Chinese armies 
under their Manchu leaders had advanced far into the Gobi desert, 
crushed the Khalkas on the Kerulon, and threatened to overrun 
Kashgaria and Kuldja. The offensive measures of Tse Wang Rabdan 
might then be justified on the ground that in a strict sense they were 
really defensive. In the time of Galdan the struggle had been carried 
on chiefly round the modern town of Urga. The new turn of the 
political wheel brought Tibet into prominence. Tse Wang Rabdan 
determined to put an end to Chinese influence in that country by 
capturing the Dalai Lama and carrying him off to Hi. The scheme 
was a bold one, and it would undoubtedly have succeeded if the young 
Dalai Lama, discovered as a child in 1698 or 1699, had been left at 
Lhasa. His timely removal to Sining was the sole cause of the failure 
of the Eleuth King in accomplishing his main object. 

Before we take up the description of the military expedition, the 
facts that have been mentioned suggest a few pertinent observations 
on the present situation, that has so much practical interest for us 
and for the people of India. In a debate in the House of Lords on 
the 26th of February Lords Ripon and Rosebery made speeches in 
which the dominant note was incredulity as to the feasibility of Russian 
intervention in Tibet. The former appealed to the natural difficul- 
ties described by Dr. Sven Hedin, the latter questioned the likelihood 

i 2 


of any convention having been signed between Russians and Tibetans. 
Both were disposed to represent that any apprehensions of outside 
interference in Tibet, other, of course, than Chinese, rested on an 
illusory foundation. We may refer these statesmen to the history 
of Tibet from, let us say, 1690 to 1710. Lord Ripon will see that 
Ghereng Donduk with an army at his back was a more successful 
traveller than Sven Hedin. Lord Rosebery will admit that, if an 
Eleuth prince could not merely conclude an arrangement with Tibet 
but send an army to Lhasa to enforce it, the same achievement is 
not beyond the capacity of a European State in possession of practic- 
ally the same base viz. the major part of the old Eleuth country, 
while dominating beyond any possible disputation the rest. 

To return to Tse Wang Rabdan. The Emperor Kanghi believed 
that the death of Galdan meant a more tranquil time on the side of 
Central Asia. He had no real love for those costly enterprises in the 
desert beyond the Great Wall. He recognised the ability of Galdan, 
but he counted on the balance of chances that his successor would 
not be his equal, for it is rarely in the world's history that ' Amurath 
to Amurath succeeds.' It happened, however, that the new chief 
of the Eleuths was no less ambitious and scarcely less able than his 
predecessor. But whereas Galdan had thought that the Chinese 
armies were to be driven back in the deserts of Mongolia, Tse Wang 
Rabdan came to the conclusion that the master-stroke might be 
dealt to Chinese influence and fame in Tibet. For this reason he 
recalled the treaty that the Tipa had concluded with his uncle, and 
resolved on exacting vengeance for the murder of his family's ally. 

In 1709 he organised his forces for a protracted expedition. Organ- 
ising meant for him the collection of a sufficient number of camels, 
and he advanced at the head of his army to Lob Nor or its neighbour- 
hood. Here he learnt that the young Dalai Lama had been carried 
ofi for safety to Sining on the borders of Shensi, and as his main object 
was to capture the person of the priest ruler of Tibet, he decided to 
divide his army into two bodies, leading one himself against Sining, 
and entrusting the other to the command of his brother or cousin 
Chereng Donduk for the express purpose of capturing Lhasa. The 
available authorities are uncertain as to the relationship between the 
Eleuth prince and Chereng or Zeren Donduk, but the probability is that 
they were only cousins. It will be convenient to mention at this point 
that Tse Wang Rabdan's attack on Sining was repulsed, or at all events 
that it failed of success, and thus the Dalai Lama personally escaped 
from the consequences of the capture and plunder of his capital. 

The force with which Chereng Donduk marched from Lob Nor to 
Lhasa did not exceed 6000 men, and it is stated that it was accom- 
panied by several thousand camels. Some of these carried swivel 
guns, which were discharged from their backs, but the bulk of them 
conveyed the provisions of the army. Unlike modern travellers, 

1904 THE CAPTUEE OF LHASA IN 1710 117 

the expedition made little of the difficulties encountered on the route. 
In the narrative of Chereng Donduk, as preserved by Gospodin 
Unkoffsky, there are no striking pictures of salt deserts or sand- 
storms, which makes one suspect that neither Colonel Prjevalsky nor 
Dr. Sven Hedin discovered the best route from the north into Tibet. 
The Eleuth army reached the district south of Tengri Nor without 
loss and in good condition. At some point between that lake and the 
capital it found the Tibetan forces drawn up to oppose its progress. 

The Tibetan army of that day was not more formidable in a military 
sense than its antitype is now, but Latsan Khan the Talai Han 
of Duhalde had collected in some way or other a body of 20,000 
men. Many of these were mercenaries from Mongolia or the Hima- 
layas, and probably the bulk of those present were civilians or priests, 
ignorant of the use of arms, and brought there for the day merely 
to make a show. The advance of the Eleuth camel corps, and the 
noise if not the execution of the swivel guns, put the whole of the 
Tibetan force to the rout. It became a general sauve qui peut, and 
in the confusion Latsan Khan, the Tibetan generalissimo, lost his 
life, probably at the hands of some of his own followers. Thus com- 
pletely defeated at the first encounter, the Tibetan army never re- 
assembled. Military resistance to the Eleuth -invaders was not again 
so much as attempted. 

A few days after the fight near Tengri Nor the Eleuths reached 
and entered Lhasa. They entered without firing a shot, the pagodas 
and lamaseries were pillaged, an immense spoil was taken in the 
residence of the Dalai Lama at Potola, and then, having plundered 
several other towns in the valley which are not named, the Eleuth army 
prepared to return to Ili. In addition to the loot taken the Eleuths 
carried off a considerable number of lamas as prisoners. Duhalde 
affirms, with a certain degree of satisfaction at the troubles of rival 
priests, whom he calls elsewhere idolaters, that ' all the lamas who 
could be found were put in sacks and strung across the backs of camels 
and thus carried off to Tartary.' 

Two minor incidents in this campaign may be mentioned. The 
Eleuths found at Lhasa a Tartar (really Kirghiz) princess and her 
son, who had come, with the permission of the Russians, from their 
home in the Astrachan district to make the pilgrimage to the holy 
city of Tibet. She was the sister-in-law of Ayuka, the Tourgouth 
chief who had fled from Chinese territory, and whose grandson returned 
later on with his people to China, as described by De Quincey in his 
brilliant essay ' The Flight of a Tartar Tribe.' The presence of these 
interesting pilgrims is in its way evidence of the ease with which 
Lhasa could be reached from Russian territory. The second incident 
was the narrow escape from the invaders of the ' lama missionaries,' 
as Duhalde calls the Christian converts of his order, who were employed 
on the collection of the materials for the great map of Tibet, with which 


the name of D'Anville was subsequently associated. They had only 
quitted Lhasa a few days when the Tartar hordes burst in upon it. 

Unkoffsky, the Russian envoy to Tse Wang Rabdan, who visited 
his camp or capital in 1722, states that on this expedition the Eleuths 
suffered little or no loss. But their attack on Sining was repulsed, 
and the failure to secure the person of the Dalai Lama converted 
their daring invasion of Tibet into a mere plundering raid. But 
that does not diminish the value, as an object-lesson for the present 
day, of their capture of Lhasa. 

In consequence of the Eleuth invasion, and the proof it afforded 
that the Tibetan lamas were unable to protect themselves, the Emperor 
Kanghi sent a Chinese garrison to Lhasa, and there was no further 
invasion of Tibet until 1790, when the Goorkhas entered the country 
and plundered Teshu Lumbo. The circumstances of that campaign, 
including the Chinese invasion of Nepaul and the imposition of a humi- 
liating treaty on the Goorkhas near Khatmandu, are fairly well known. 

Less well known is the contest between the Eleuths and the 
Russians that followed. Chereng Donduk therein gave further proof 
of the military skill with which he had conducted the march to Lhasa. 
The early relations of Russia and China are full of interesting matter. 
In the seventeenth century the Emperor of China styled himself 
' the Czar's elder brother.' When the fort of Albazin was razed to 
the ground, and its residents 101 in number, with their priest, Maxime 
Leontieff were carried off to Peking to found there the still existing 
colony, and to build the first Greek church in 1695, no one anticipated 
the complete inversion in their positions that has occurred within 
the last twenty years. Baffled on the Upper Amour, the next forward 
movement of the Russians was in the Kirghiz region towards the 
possessions of Tse Wang Rabdan. The gold-seeking mission of 
Prince Gagarine was followed by the establishment of several petty 
forts or blockhouses. His lieutenant, Bukholz, founded one of the 
more important of these, named Fort Yamishewa, on the stream 
Priasnukha, and Tse Wang Rabdan, finding its proximity irksome, 
sent Chereng Donduk to demolish it, and to expel or capture the 
foreigners. The Russians suffered some loss, but discreetly abandoned 
their fort and established themselves at a safer distance from the Eleuth 
ruler. This event happened in 1715 or 1716, and the mission of Unkoffsky 
was sent with the object of establishing more neighbourly relations. 

On the principle that what has once been accomplished may be 
repeated, this brief record of a half-forgotten, or at least obscure, 
historical event may convince the British public that a Russian 
invasion of Tibet, by diplomatic missions in the first place and by 
armed force later on, is not the fantastic or impossible undertaking 
that so many persons have represented it to be. 




IN these days of fevered excitement, the full ' harvest of a quiet eye ' 
can but seldom be reaped and gathered in. The driving and driven 
twentieth century is always finding excuse for telephoning and tele- 
graphing after us ' Hurry up ! ' One single fortnight, which is all 
that I was able to spend this summer at the Bagni di Casamicciola, in 
the island of Ischia, gives me but scant right to describe this paradise. 
When I say ' paradise,' I mean literally a garden ; for such was our 
first and last impression of the island. Following the road up the hill 
from the landing-place in the direction of the principal hotels, past 
the little villas of Casamicciola, we were always struck anew by the 
rich luxuriance of vines, of orange and lemon trees ; roses, carnations, 
and cactuses; and the brilliance of many a red geranium, tumbling in 
cataract adown the tier-planted terrace walls. In the early morning, the 
falls of deep blue convolvuli, escaping from the flower-beds over the wall, 
showed masses of blossoms, larger and finer than I have ever seen 
elsewhere. It is curious that whatever blossoms in this little island 
attains to larger size and richer colour. Soil and sun are exceptionally 
favourable. Ferns and flowers, some of them rare, grow wildly every- 
where. I was told of a work I have not seen, which contains an 
account in Latin of the flora of the island, and mentions two or more 
plants belonging to tropical regions, but finding a congenial home in 
chasms near the fumeoli, whence issue hot vapours from the labouring 
furnaces below. For this garden rests on the bosom of a volcano. It 
is a child of the volcano, which, besides bestowing so rich a gift of 
fertile soil, is also so greatly beneficent in yielding the miraculously 
healing mineral waters, known and used by suffering humanity for 
more than two thousand years. Analyses of the various waters, or 
accounts of their curative action, may be found in a long line of authors, 
from Strabo down to Dr. Cox and his later confreres. The well- 
appointed Stabilimento di Bagni of Signor Manzi at Casamicciola 
(who, by the by, speaks English fluently, and whose wife is from Scot- 
land) leaves nothing to be desired, and has been recently rearranged. 
There are other bathing-houses of a cheaper sort, and on the sea- 
shore is a large house of charity, ' Monte della Misericordia,' for sick 



poor coming to be healed. At the time of our visit it was not yet 
open, the season not having commenced. This pious foundation has 
existed since the year 1604, when a small beginning was made by the 
sale of fragments gathered up from the remains of a high feast of the 
jeunesse doree of that period. 

I have often wished we could set against the total of those who 
have suffered in the earthquakes the incomparably greater number of 
cures and restorations to more or less happy existence of those who 
have benefited by the waters ; and man has been far more cruel to 
his fellow man than ever has been Nature. It would be a grievous 
task to go through the history of the Neapolitan provinces, which has 
always found its echo in the neighbouring islands, and notably in 
Ischia. Tyranny, oppression, pillage, war unreal words to most of 
us who run so glibly over them. The choice of King David might 
here give utterance to our conclusion : ' Let us fall into the hand of 
the Lord, for His mercies are great ; and let me not fall into the hand 
of man.' 

Since the last earthquake, in 1883, the new houses have been 
built under Government inspection, after a plan adopted in Calabria, 
and are held to be proof against earthquake shocks. 

Our island is not a winter residence, for the winds are cold, and 
storms make it too often impossible for steamers to land their pas- 
sengers and mails. In July and August it is cooler than in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood of Naples, and in the month of June we found it 
delightful. It was free from the tourists, who mostly come in the 
spring, and from the multitude of midsummer bathing guests. If the 
vineyards were not in the rich ripeness of autumn, the flowers were in 
their early summer freshness. The bright yellow Spanish broom, in 
blossom all over the island, seemed continually to greet us with 
heaven-sent laughter, as in innocent gladness of heart victorious over 
an infernal havoc of lava. I recall one specially typical picture of 
this prophetic triumph on the road leading downward from Barano to 
Ischia, near the vent in the mountain-side of the latest eruption of 
1302. "Wide-spreading black lava blocks contrasted with the brilliant 
golden splendour of the flowers of the genista, springing up, Heaven 
knows how, in the crevices, and all aglow in the kindred glory of a 
setting sun. The right was flanked by a grove of pine trees, with their 
dark green billowy masses of foliage, while ever and anon the castle 
rock of Ischia came into view at the end of a forest glade, and the 
expanse of deep blue summer sea sparkled below in varying tints and 

Suddenly we had come on a little valley dip crossed by an aqueduct ,. 
which conveys water to Ischia from the one only cold spring in the 
island. Higher up stands the fragment of an ancient oak the only 
tree not of comparatively recent growth that I noticed ; but some old 
inhabitants are probably to be found in the chestnut groves near 

1904 ISCHIA IN JUNE 121 

Barano. The island yields little or nothing for the ordinary food of 
man. Everything must be brought from the mainland. The peasants 
are very poor, and they emigrate in numbers every year to America, 
never to return, as in other parts of Italy. 

Everywhere the land is so broken up into hills, and rocks, and 
chasms, that almost every turn affords a fresh vignette. Our ex- 
plorations were limited to drives in the little carrozzelle, and there 
is a fairly good road all round the island. 

Monte Epomeo, 2,616 feet above sea-level, unrolls a wide map at 
the foot of the climber ; and what a map is here presented may be 
foretold by whoever has but some slight knowledge of the classic 
sites which lie around Naples I should prefer to say, which lie around 
the tomb of the immortal poet, for this tomb of Virgil is the ideal 
spot in a city alike indolent and corrupt in the past and the present, 
and where bright beacons of a higher and productive life are but 

A bare mention of some of the renowned sites visible from the 
summit must suffice. The view was thus described to me by a nimble 
spirit who ascended the mountain: Looking south is unfolded the 
entire Bay of Naples, with the well-known islands. Vesuvius, now 
slumbering, scarce seems to breathe from its awful mouth ; the 
majestic outline of its silent slopes sweeps westward towards the city. 
On the right, the promontory and town of Sorrento, and the coast 
leading down to Castellamare. Pompeii and Herculaneum are indi- 
cated behind the suburbs, which extend in a long and weary line of 
streets into Naples. At the opposite end of the city, and nearer to 
our island, the villas and promontory of Posilipo. What shall I say 
of Puteoli, point of pilgrimage for all who follow the journeyings of 
St. Paul ? Then the sulphurous neighbourhood of Baiae ; the lofty, 
wide-stretching promontory of Misenum ; Cumae, with its acropolis 
(nearly opposite to Casamicciola) ; the Gulf of Gaeta, whose past 
honours are divided between the Nurse of JLneas and Pope Pius IX., 
follows the long line of coast reaching to Monte Circello ; while 
the Apennines of the Abruzzi are towering above the horizon on 
the left. Such is the bird's-eye southern outlook from Monte 

There is no crater now traceable on the silent summit. As seen 
from Casamicciola, the highest point displays yellow sandstone rock 
surrounded by masses of many-tinted fragments of tufa, trachyte, 
scoriae, pumice, and I know not what other combinations, running 
over from Nature's melting-pot. Further down we perceive clefts of 
the greyish-blue marl, which affords material for the industry of the 
island the brick and pottery works. In this marl are found shells 
of fishes still common in the Tyrrhene Sea. The theory is that these 
submarine deposits, flung upward in the earlier eruptions, washed up 
with sea-water, hurled hither and thither, together with the lava, 


finally choked up the crater's mouth. Later eruptions found vents in 
the sides of the mountain. 

Ancient tradition tallies in some measure with scientific theory, 
telling how Monte Epomeo vomited fire and ashes, how the sea 
receded and then returned, overflowing the land and extinguishing 
the fire. 

For examples of the lateral vents, see Monte Rotaro and II Mon- 
tagnone, a couple of little extinct volcanoes near Casamicciola, with 
lava streams flowing down to the sea. Another vent is evident at the 
head of the broad stream of the lava of the Arso, which marks the 
latest eruption of 1302, and which I have mentioned as now clad 
with marvellous beauty of flowers and trees. 

Driving from Barano to Forio, we passed one of the many stufe, 
or fumeoli. Some of these pour out steam to the tune of 140 to 
180 Fahrenheit, and in their depths may be heard the boiling and 
bubbling of seething waters and turbulent gases. The theory of their 
origin is the communication of waters of the sea with volcanic fires 
immediately underneath. This, of course, can mean nothing else than 
the visits of the god of the ocean, Poseidon, to his stormy old friend, 
Typhoeus, who is lying buried alive under the ' hard couch,' Inarime 
by name, which appears to have been upset over his mighty frame to 
bind him fast by order of Zeus. This ' hard bed,' Inarime, is now 
our fair island of Ischia. On the beach, near the pleasing little town 
of Lacco Ameno, we trod on a black, sparkling sand, sensibly hot to 
the feet, and in which hot water may be seen to rise immediately on 
our making such holes as children at play might dig with their small 
spades. The blackness is owing to an abundance of oxide of iron, the 
sparkling to the presence of quartz, and the heat to the untiring 
furnace below. Virgil sings, hard by to his mention of Inarime 
(Mn. ix. 714) : 

Miscent se maria, et nigrce adtolluntur arence. 

But the black volcanic sand is not peculiar to Ischia ; it is common 
in those regions. 

We searched in vain, being no botanists, for a flower called by the 
islanders the lily of Santa Restituta. It is a plant of the squill tribe, 
flowering only in the autumn, and is fabled to have sprung up in the 
sand near the spot where Santa Restituta came on shore after she had 
suffered martyrdom in Africa, being thrown alive into a cask and 
cast into the sea. The church dedicated to the saint contains a 
series of modern pictures, telling the miraculous story of her life and 
her landing in the island. These pictures are full of feeling, and are 
well imagined, however wanting in technique. They are probably 
the work of some young enthusiast, but the 'parroco ' could not give us 
the name of the artist, or tell us anything about him. The simple 
country people and sailors delight greatly in those graphic tellings of 

1904 ISCHIA IN JUNE 123 

the story of their honoured saint. They throng here on the day of her 
festival (17th May), this year delayed because of repairs going for- 
ward, and we were sorry not to remain a few days longer to behold the 
festive gathering. The ' parroco ' told us the church is then decorated 
with straw work, which is an industry of the island, richly coloured 
and highly polished, but woefully wanting in taste. 

(How is it, by the by, that, generally speaking and with few 
exceptions, all Italian work of the present day, from the statues of 
Dante to the straw work and the pottery of our island, is bathos ?) 

In the chancel, beside the high altar, we found a Madonna and 
Child, by an Old Master a painting of great merit in colour and 
expression, eyebrows and eyes singularly beautiful. Whether this 
picture was brought here from the convent close by, or what was the 
history of it, we could not ascertain. It stands in a very unfavourable 
light and position the ' parroco ' said because there was nowhere else 
to put it. I ignorantly suggested it might be removed to an altar in 
the nave, in place of some daub representing I forget what. He 
replied, in a tone of astonishment, that it would be impossible to put 
a strange picture on an altar dedicated to some other saint or subject. 

The basin for holy water at the church door is an exquisite little 
cinerary urn in white marble. From two cornucopiae, reversed, 
issues a garland of flowers, and below is a basket, also reversed, con- 
taining fruits and flowers. The touching dedication is by a wife to 
her husband. It was found, with other urns and remains, in the 
valley of San Martino, near by. Another church in the street of the 
little town contains some of these ' finds.' A marble column is spoken 
of as having been brought from a temple of Hercules ; but the doors 
were closed, and we did not effect an entrance. 

I should not omit all mention of the church at Forio, planted 
on a rock jutting out into the sea, with a beautiful view, and 
interesting within from the many votive offerings of sailors and 
fishermen, and the painted tiles, which may perhaps be described 
as a coarse majolica ware. The road from Barano to Forio winds 
downward above the heads of numerous deep ravines, which run 
straight into the sea, and are here and there used by the peasants 
as wine-cellars. 

One afternoon the small boy driver of our carrozzella, a sharp 
urchin of twelve years old, was bent on showing us ' Casamicciola 
antica,' a melancholy sight indeed. Houses in ruins, a large church 
in the centre, of which the walls only remain standing. This devasta- 
tion was wrought by the earthquake of 1883. 

From the earliest up to recent times, inhabitants and visitors 
have fled before the earthquakes. The first settlers in the island are 
said to have transferred their homes to Cumse, on the opposite shore 
of the mainland. This latest earthquake of 1883 has left many 
beautifully situated villas uninjured, but now scarcely visited by 


their owners, who are either intimidated by dread of a recurrence, or 
heart-stricken by memories of relatives and friends lost or maimed 
among the ruins. I noticed an unusual number of lame and crippled 
among the people, and was told that most of these had been among 
the victims. Dr. Menella gave us a touching account of the loss of 
his father, buried amid the ruins of their house. The story of his 
leading his mother away in safety reminded one of the narrative of 
the younger Pliny. Menella said the whole event remained in his 
mind like the memory of a bad dream. He could scarcely believe 
that it was his actual self who had endured that time, or that the 
thing had ever happened. 

Hardly less heartrending was the recital of the poor old keeper of 
the cemetery, in which I know not how many of the gathered-in 
corpses lie buried. The old man lost his wife and five children his 
whole family. I understood him to say that the ruins of his house 
are still lying among those we had just seen in ' Casamicciola antica.' 
He related at length the prompt visit of the King to the scene of sorrow, 
and the awful task of the soldiers employed in digging out the bodies. 
It was sad to hear that some of the peasants came down immediately 
from the hills and carried off money and valuables from among the 
debris. The site of the burial-place, above the sea, affords a soothing 
view of beauty beyond ; but the high surrounding walls shut out 
everything, and enhance the deep depression and desolation of the 
place. It is passed on the road from Casamicciola to Ischia, at the 
foot of the little extinct volcano of Monte Rotaro. 

We found the drive to Ischia one of the loveliest in the island, 
the sea ever and anon coming into sight just below, deep blue that 
day, with white-plumed billows rising and vanishing on the surface, 
chasing each other like evanescent swans. Near the town arises a 
grove of pine trees. And here, in the long street, is the Palazzo Reale ; 
and here, with its garden, richly planted on the lava stream, is the 
Villa MeuricofEre. 

Built into and upon a lofty solitary rock of volcanic tufa rising 
abruptly out of the sea, at the end of a narrow neck of land, is the 
Castle of Ischia, whose outline is familiar to us in many sketches, 
and in Stanfield's grand picture, recently exhibited in London, the 
property of Lady Wantage. The story of the Castle would be the 
history of the island long and distressful. It is hallowed by the 
memory of Vittoria Colonna, ' uncanonised ' saint, sought by the 
master minds of Italy in that eventful period, and the honoured friend 
of Michael Angelo. Her name is inseparable from the Castle of Ischia. 
Through the utterance of her lofty and humble soul, in the sonnets 
and poems which were the consolation of her troubled life, she may 
become to us more than a name to conjure by. As poems they are 
of studied perfection. Restrained by the * freno dell' arte,' they give 
passionate expression to unchangeable affection, and to the sublime 

1904 ISCHIA IN JUNE 125 

faith and trust of genuine piety. And. that she was sensible to the 
ministrations of the beauty of Nature we may see in her lines : 

Quand' io dal caro scoglio miro intorno 
La terra e '1 ciel nella vermiglia aurora, 
Quante nebbie nel cor son nate, allora 
Scaccia la vaga vista e il chiaro giorno. 

The volume is an Italian classic, firmly fixed as such in Italian 
literature as is the castled rock in the Tyrrhene Sea. 

A. P. IRBY. 



I SUPPOSE that most young men, even those who appear to be merely 
reasonable or hopelessly commonplace, have experienced, at one time 
or another, some sort of sentimental or spiritual awakening, which 
has rendered them susceptible to the elevating influences of poetry. 
Religious enthusiasm, domestic affliction, or involuntary exile from 
the old familiar places ; a sudden sense of the hollowness and muta- 
bility of earthly things all these are calculated to encourage the 
poetic mood, although, where there exists any hereditary predisposi- 
tion, it may be called into being by the death of a goldfish, or the 
escape of a favourite canary. With or without any previous training 
or natural capacity, however, it is particularly apt to assert itself 
when a chivalrous and susceptible adolescent imagines himself, for 
the first time, to be really in love, and when, as so often happens, 
he finds that the course of his passion is running anything but 

Poets, as we know, have written almost exhaustively upon the 
subject of the affections, and those that were hopeless or unrequited 
have ever seemed to appeal more particularly to their sympathies. 
So, when the young lover, quite by accident, as may happen, turns to 
the pages of some great poet for solace or consolation, lo and behold, 
he discovers that even this choice spirit has gone through all the 
varied symptoms from which he is now suffering himself, and that he 
has described them in the very same language that he would have 
made use of, if only the said choice spirit had not been before- 
hand with him ! 

So many people, ever since the very beginning of the world, have 
been, or have imagined themselves to be, in love ! About love ' pure 
and simple,' the love of the young man for the maiden, it would seem 
to be very difficult to write anything that was absolutely original ; 
although, of course, the old torments may be described in a new and 
appropriate sequence of words. The young lover, therefore, can revel 
to his heart's content in rhythmical combinations and reiterations, ex- 
pressive of the state of his feelings. The swing of the metre fascinates 


and enthralls him ; the rhymes haunt him, even when he is asleep. 
He ' lisps in numbers,' without exactly knowing or caring whose 
numbers they are ; his whole soul is as though flooded with the music 
of the spheres. His eye begins ' rolling in a fine frenzy ' ; he strongly 
suspects that he must have been born, unwittingly, in ' a golden 
clime,' and, by and by, all his thrills and tremors find vent in a slim 
little booklet, bound, generally, in dark green linen or white vellum 
(although I have one in my possession which is bound in black calico, 
whereupon is depicted a shattered lyre, surmounted by skull and 
cross-bones), dedicated to mysterious initials, and published anony- 
mously, or under a nom de plume, ' at the earnest request of friends.' 
Even as these remarks may apply to the passion of love, so is it with 

The measure of Pleasure, the measure of Glory, 
That is meted out to a human lot. 

In every emotional crisis and emergency of life, there is always a 
chance that an enthusiastic and impulsive youth may be tempted to 
express himself in ' numbers ' without possessing any of the qualifica- 
tions which are essential to the true poetic calling. The phase is an 
acute one ; it will soon pass off, but for the time being he feels that he 
is existing upon a higher plane than most of his workaday neighbours, 
and it is because of this rapid development and subsequent evanescence 
of mood that he seems to be especially marked out by destiny for 
what the elder D'Israeli has designated ' a man of one book.' 

For this it would be hard to blame the author. Fertility is no 
nearer allied to strength than prodigality to riches, but yet, for all 
this, fertility and sterility must remain two utterly different things. 
From the point of view of the collector, the ' one book ' of an unsus- 
pected poetaster may grow, with time, into something ' rare and 
strange ' ; a source, too, of never-ending amazement, to those who 
are acquainted with its author's personality. And, no doubt, when 
he is comfortably married and settled, and embarked in banking, 
brewing, stockbroking, or what not, he, too, may start at sight of the 
slim green or white creature of his imagination as though it were an 
asp or a scorpion. Sometimes, fearing lest its heterodox opinions 
should revolutionise the world, or else, when he thinks that its tone 
may be regarded as too sensuous and redolent of the ' fleshly school,' 
he will endeavour to strangle it, shortly after its birth, arresting its 
headlong course to the butterman by buying up the very limited 
edition at his own cost. This was what happened a good many 
years ago now to the poems of ' Alastor,' only in that instance, 
unless I am mistaken, it was the lady-mother of the aspiring author 
who took the initiative and bought up the edition. I wonder how 
many persons now living would be able to tell me her name ? 

I have always felt that there was something particularly pathetic 
about the fate of these poor children of the imagination ; mere accidents 


as it were, resulting from a single juvenile indiscretion, whose parents 
are so often ashamed of having begotten them, and who will never 
have any brothers or sisters ; and just as a compassionate mother- 
superior might fold to her bosom some poor little esposito, discovered, 
tied up in a bundle, at the door of a foundling hospital, I have always 
been one of the first to give shelter and welcome to the waifs and 
strays that are thus cast out upon a cold world without anybody to 
' log-roll ' them, or give them a word of comfort or encouragement. 
There they stand, safely enclosed in their comfortable bookcase, and 
I feel almost irresistibly impelled to write about some of them. They 
have shelf-mates, too, with whom I have kindly permitted them to 
rub shoulders (alas, with no hope of any possible contagion !), trans- 
parently anonymous, the identity but flimsily veiled, or else, wearing 
fearlessly the proud cognisance of their illustrious parentage : a pre- 
sentation copy of The Wanderer, and of the beautiful Love-Sonnets 
of Proteus ; poems of the late Lord De Tabley, with those of Mr. 
Theodore Watts-Dunton (his splendid Ode upon the burial of Cecil 
Rhodes not yet incorporated with them) ; and to some of these treasures 
it will be difficult for me not to allude, seeing them thus ranged on 
high whenever I look upwards. As, however, the more accomplished 
singers here represented have already found appreciative critics far 
abler than I am to sound their praises, I shall endeavour to confine 
myself as much as possible to the study of my little nursery of 

As is so often the case, how alike they all are, at a first glance, not 
only in dress, but in most of their prominent features ! They have 
the pinched, attenuated aspect of things that have been starved, 
and baby-farmed, and treated ungenerously, and so take up but little 
room upon one's shelves ; and when they do not, as often, breathe 
entirely of earthly passion, or are not merely weak invertebrate 
imitations of Rudyard Kipling, Conan Doyle, or Adam Lindsay 
Gordon, and others, rollicking, bacchanalian, or, it may be, patriotic, 
how terribly and hopelessly melancholy they are apt to be with the 
morbid and lugubrious despair of the later French decadents, whose 
felicity of expression, however, has been cruelly denied them : a form 
of melancholy which seems to be the almost inseparable accompani- 
ment of intellectual youth in the age in which we are living. 

Poor Maurice Rollinat with his Apparitions, his' Nevroses, his 
Spectres, and his Tenebres, has just made his tragic final exit. But, 
a disciple himself, he has, like his master, Baudelaire, a numerous 
following in this country. In the index of the little black-hound 
volume of which I have already made mention, and which belongs to 
what I may appropriately call ' the death's head and cross-bones ' 
school of poetry, I find several evidences of this. Here we have Ode 
to a Dead Body, The Corpse, The Suicide, &c., whilst there is something 
gruesome, in another book by the same author, which is evidently 


derived from the loves of Les deux Poitrinaires. These volumes, 
however, are merely mentioned parenthetically, and must on no 
account be confounded with any of those that are housed in my 
nursery of enfants trouves. Rather would I compare them, in the 
language of Le Sieur de Brantome, to des batards de grande famille, 
the result of a mere passing flirtation with the muse, of one who has 
come to be a redoubtable critic and a powerful writer of the realistic 
school, but who has yet permitted them to bear his name upon their 
title-pages. Perhaps they do not pretend to be anything more than 
free translations, after all ? 

In the beautiful sequence of poams entitled A Shropshire Lad, and 
which again I only venture to allude to by way of a verification, for 
here we are confronted with the work of a true poet, this note of latter- 
day sadness is particularly accentuated. The genius of the author 
communicates it to the reader, and we lay down the volume oppressed 
by a sense of haunting despondency at thought of what has been so 
persistently and mercilessly reiterated : 

Let me mind the house of dust 
Where my sojourn shall be long, 

and where, to quote an exquisite final verse : > 

Lovers lying two by two 

Ask not whom they sleep beside ; 
And the bridegroom all night thro' 

Never turns him to the bride. 

By this concentration of thought upon the obvious and inevitable 
end of all, we are led to assume that Mr. A. E. Housman is still young. 
Like the traditional eels, that were said to have become used to 
the skinning process, the older thinkers have already realised ' the 
tragedy of Condemnation and Reprieve,' and have endeavoured to 
make the best of it, though to neither young nor old can the idea be 
altogether exhilarating. There is a Spanish proverb which says that 
' Death, like the sun, should not be looked at too fixedly,' and surely 
its * rapture of repose,' so beautifully described by one who was yet 
sufficiently infected with the melancholy of his time to write as though 
all the joys of earth had come to an end with his thirty-third year, 
is more profitable and comforting to dwell upon than 

La pourriture lente et 1'ennui du squelette. 

Even Maurice Rollinat has admitted that there is always cremation ! 
Mr. A. E. Housman, however, is not to be counted amongst the 
' men of one book,' and I am in hopes that so accomplished a singer 
will soon cease to derive his chief inspirations from the creak of the 
gibbet and the odour of the charnel-house. Another young poet, 
whose last book I have just opened, and one who is also endowed 

VOL. LVI No. 329 K 


with the true poetic gift, concludes thus a poem which is entitled 

Ennui : 

The sun has stink into a moonless sea 
And every road leads down from Heaven to Hell, 
The pearls are numbered on Youth's rosary, 
I have outlived the days desirable. 
What is there left ? And how shall dead men sing 
Unto the loosened strings of Love and Hate, 
Or take strong hands to Beauty's ravishment ? 
Who shall devise this thing ? 
To give high utterance to Miscontent, 
Or make Indifference articulate ? 

Whilst, elsewhere in the same volume, he thus deliberately invites 
those very emotions which (if we except the first of them) have ever 
been regarded by the majority of mankind as their most unwelcome 
guests ; 

Love ! Sorrow ! O desired Despair 1 

1 turn my feet towards the boundless sea, 
Into the dark I go and heed not where, 
So that I come again at last to thee ! 

But I must return from poets of a higher plane to my waifs and 
strays. Here is an anonymous singer who makes his ' indifference 
a-rticulate ' in the following lines : 

W T hat have I here to live for ? What the goal 

I reach at length by nearing day by day ? 
What is the composition of the soul 

That fails to guide me with its flickering ray ? 

Another young poet for I have a shrewd suspicion that he must 
l)e young would have preferred to have remained 

A protoplasmic substance, undefined, 
Floating upon the bosom of the deep, 

and never to^have been born into the world at all. He is indignant at 
the impertinence of his own incarnation, without so much as a ' with 
your leave or by your leave,' though how to stand upon ceremony 
with ' a protoplasmic substance, undefined,' it is difficult to imagine. 

Here is the angry protest of yet another anonymous bard, who, 
I fancy, from his style, must be even younger still : 

Why was I born, I often ask, 

Into this world of Death and Doubt ? 

To con an uncongenial task ? 

I can't make out I I can't make out ! 

I had despised so mean a boon ; 

The life I share with boor and lout, 
But ' ah the die was cast too soon ' I 

My heart moans out, my heart moans out I 


There is generally more spirit and joie de vivre about verses of this 
calibre when the writer has availed himself of the ballad form, about 
which there is generally a certain jauntiness of movement, or when 
he condescends to deal with historical subjects, however distorted, 
because he is then obliged, for the time being at least, to get outside 
his own personal sensations, and to cease preying, as it were, upon his 
own vitals. 

From a small volume of Jacobite songs, printed some years ago, 
and then suppressed possibly out of deference to the feelings of the 
reigning Royal family, for I have never chanced upon it since, I 
cull the following gem. The lines are expressive of the passionate 
love of Flora Macdonald for ' the Young Pretender,' with whom, in 
spite of her loyal devotion, her relations are known to have been 

purely platonic : 

Oh, Charlie, Charlie ! with thy face 

So comely and bewitching 1 
Of royal race, thy princely grace 

Has set nay poor heart itching ! 

An ' itching ' or a ' moaning out ' heart : which of the two would 
be the more undesirable possession ? ' I can't make out ! I can't 
make out ! ' 

Very different in quality is the spirited ballad of Perkin Warbeck, 
which I find in the distinguished collection of poems entitled The City 

of the Soul. 

At Turnay in Flanders I was born, 

Fore-doomed to splendour and sorrow, 
For I was a king when they cut the corn 
And they strangle me to-morrow ! 

Thus laments poor Perkin in the opening verse, by which it will be 
apparent that the poet accepts the orthodox historic version of his 

I was nothing but a weaver's son, 

(he is made to confess later on in the ballad), 

I was born in a weaver's bed, 
My brothers toiled and my sisters spun, 
And my mother wove for our bread. 

Had this been fully proved, all would have been plain sailing, and 
the hero of the poem would not have shared with the ' Man in the Iron 
Mask ' the doubtful honour of ranking still as one of the most im- 
penetrable mysteries of European history, for there are many people 
now living who believe that he was indeed ' the milk White Rose of 
York ' after all, in spite of the confession extorted from him when in 
prison by the astutest of our Henries. Who can decide, at this 
distance of time, when, as I read in my morning paper, ' grave doubts ' 
exist as to the death in the Temple of a much more modern scion of ill- 
fated royalty the unhappy little Louis XVII., for whose coffin a search 

K 2 


is even now being made ' in the cemetery in which he was probably 
buried, in order to try and settle, once for all, the question whether it 
was the poor little King or another who was buried there ' ? There 
are ' Perkin Warbecks ' too, in America, I am informed, quite ready to 
prove that they are descended from this later royal captive ; and where 
so much difference of opinion exists as to ' how history was written ' 
in the eighteenth century, I feel that it would be rash indeed to make 
sure of what may or may not have happened in the reign of the first of 
the Tudors. 

Be this how it may, here are two charming verses. ' Perkin ' is, 
again lamenting his hard fate : 

For I was not made for wars and strife, 

And blood and slaughtering, 
I was but a boy who loved his life, 

And I had not the heart of a king. 

Oh ! why hath God dealt so hardly with me, 

That such a thing should be done, 
That a boy should be born with a king's body 

And the heart of a weaver's eon ? 

By a process of thought-transference which will be obvious to the 
initiated, I am here reminded of the terrible Ballad of Reading Gaol r 
with its splendours and inequalities ; its mixture of poetic force, crude 
realism, and undeniable pathos. Perhaps this hard-featured offspring 
of genius, begotten in shame and misfortune, ought not, appropriately y 
to keep company with the pretty effeminate weaklings of which, for 
the most part, my collection consists, but there it is, nevertheless, 
standing out, in wan and ghastly pre-eminence, upon the shelf, its 
brow indelibly branded with the stigma of the ' Broad Arrow.' The 
genesis of the poem is fraught with tragic interest. It is dedicated by 
the author (a man of letters, and a poet of culture and refinement, 
who unfortunately became subject, through his own delinquencies, 
to the rigours of the law) to the memory of a trooper of the Royal 
Horse Guards, one ' Woolridge ' or ' Wolredge ' (as I have lately 
learnt) : a handsome good-for-nothing scoundrel, though a smart 
soldier when sober, who, after a career of drink and dissipation, 
ended by cutting the throat of his wife (a deserving young woman, 
who supported herself by dressmaking at Windsor) with a razor, 
which he took down with him from Knightsbridge Barracks for the 
purpose. For this crime, as we read in a preface to the ballad, he 
was hanged at Reading Gaol on the 7th of July, 1896. Oddly enough, 
the first line of the poem contains an inaccuracy, due, perhaps, to its 
author's Celtic origin : 

He did not wear his scarlet coat, 
For blood and wine are red, 

&c. As we are particularly informed, upon the fly-leaf, that the con- 
demned man had been a trooper in the Blues, he would certainly not 


have worn a ' scarlet coat ' even if blood and wine had changed to 
some abnormal colour ! This error, however, which it would have 
been easy enough to correct, in no way interferes with the interest of 
the poem. There is no joie de vivre here ; none of the careless abandon- 
ment of the ordinary narrative ballad. All is grim, concentrated 
tragedy, from cover to cover. A friend of mine, who looked upon 
himself as a judge of such matters, told me once that he would 
have placed certain passages in this poem, by reason of their 
terrible tragic intensity, upon a level with some of the descriptions in 
Dante's Inferno, were it not that ' The Ballad of Reading Gaol was so 
much more infinitely human ' ! 

Let those who are inclined to smile at such a comparison read it 
through, from beginning to end, and then judge for themselves. For 
my own part, an impression of hopeless and helpless human agony 
haunted me for days after reading it for the first time : an effect 
which a descent into the Inferno has certainly never yet produced 
upon me, although I have heard the groaning swing of the great 
bronze doors at St. John Lateran which are said to have suggested 
to the immortal Florentine the door over which was written these 
terrible words, ' di colore oscuro,' 

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi che 'ntrate. 

For Dante's august poem is open, to some extent, to the criticism 
which Sainte-Beuve applies to Paradise Lost. The whole thing is 
imaginary from beginning to end : a quality common to most works of 
genius, it may be said, only that of this, in the present instance, for all its 
beauty and magnificence, the reader is conscious from the first. Even 
what I may call the most ' infinitely human ' incident of the Divina 
Commedia an incident of everyday occurrence in our own times, to 
which poets and dramatists have clung with so much tenacity has, 
I fear, been a good deal coloured by the poet's luxuriant imagination. 
An Italian savant, 'who had investigated the matter at Rimini and 
elsewhere, assured me quite lately that Francesca must have been at 
least forty-five years old at the time of her supposed act of infidelity, 
which (even assuming that it ever occurred, a very doubtful matter) 
the brothers Malatesta treated with unconcern, dwelling together 
afterwards in perfect harmony, whilst the lady died peacefully in her 
bed at a good old age. I hope with all my heart that this was not the 
case ! Early illusions are precious things, and hard to part with, and 
for me, at least, the guilty couple will continue to float on together 
through space, for all time as depicted in the well-known painting by 
Ary Scheffer transfixed by the same rapier, as I saw Signora Duse 
transfixed, with the young gentleman who acted the role of Paolo, 
after sitting for five mortal hours at the Costanzi Theatre, at Rome, 
during the first night's performance of Gabriele d' Annunzio's recent 
drama. But this is a digression. 


The author of The Ballad of Reading Gaol essentially a { sensitive,' 
learning what is to be the doom of the unfortunate trooper, who takes 
his exercise in the same yard, though ' in another ring,' has thoroughly 
imbued himself with his feelings, or with what he conceives that they 
must be, and imagines, probably wrongly, that all his fellow- prisoners 
are similarly impressed. Here is a graphic description of ' the man 
who has to swing ' : 

He walked amongst the Trial Men 

In a suit of shabby grey ; 
A cricket cap was on his head 

And his step seemed light and gay ; 
But I never saw a man who looked 
So wistfully at the day. 

I never saw a man who looked 

With such a wistful eye 
Upon the little tent of blue 

Which prisoners call the sky, 
And at every drifting cloud that went 

With sails of silver by. 

The miserable sensations of a condemned felon are communicated 
to the reader's mind in all their gruesome intensity. It was /, and no 
other (or so I felt whilst reading), who had to ' die a death of shame, 
on a day of dark disgrace ' ; to have ' a noose about ' my neck and ' a 
cloth upon my face,' and to * drop feet foremost, through the floor, 
into an empty space ' ; I became, for the time being, one of those 
' souls in pain ' whose fate it is, as a beginning of the end, to 

... sit with silent men 

Who watch him night and day ; 
Who watch him when he tries to weep, 

And when he tries to pray, 
Who watch him lest himself should rob 

The prison of its prey. 

The shivering Chaplain robed in white, 

The Sheriff, stern with gloom, 
And the Governor, all in shiny black, 

With the yellow face of Doom. 

All these seemed to be gathering round me in the flesh in the hour of 
my agony, whilst 

The hangman, with his gardener's gloves, 
Slipped through the padded door. 

Then, too, how wonderfully vivid is the description of the long night 
before the condemned man's execution, when, as we read : 

Crooked shapes of Terror crouched 

In the corner where we lay ; 
And each evil sprite that walks by night 

Before us seemed to play ; 


They glided past, they glided fast, 

Like travellers through a mist : 
They mocked the moon in a rigadoon 

Of delicate turn and twist. 

What is a ' rigadoon ' ? Some kind of weird, diabolical taran- 
tella ? Perhaps I am writing myself down ignoramus, but I 
candidly confess that I never heard of one before, and I am all the 
more impressed by the word because I have no notion of its correct 
meaning. La femme aime Vinconnu (as a wise and witty French- 
man has justly remarked), so a ' rigadoon,' whatever kind of measure 
it may be, will always have a certain mysterious fascination for me, 
until, as may happen, it becomes a fashionable cotillon figure at balls 
and soirees dansantes. 

Let us turn to something less lugubrious, even if it be less ' infinitely 

Words of this description, which begin by being merely far-fetched 
and unusual, and which hence seem to be fraught with something of 
occult significance to sensitive minds and ears, have always been 
extremely popular not only with the young ' men of one book,' but 
with their intellectual superiors. I inquired, the other day, of a 
singularly intelligent little girl of seven years old, what she took to 
be the true meaning of the word ' poetry.' She was silent for some 
time, and then said, as after due reflection : ' I think it must mean 
beautiful words, and looking upwards ' : a relief to me, I confess, 
for I had felt almost certain that she would have fancied that poetry 
consisted in rhyme ! 

The definition is not at all a bad one, for, in spite of certain modern 
innovators who take a different view, ' beautiful words,' combined 
with the power of looking at life from a standpoint inaccessible to the 
multitude, must ever go far towards the making of a true singer. 
But surely the most important thing of all must be that the poet 
should be endowed with that far-reaching human sympathy which 
enables its possessor to receive and assimilate the subtle influences 
which produce no impression upon more stolid natures, and which 
engenders the precious faculty de tout comprendre et de tout pardonner, 
and this the most ' beautiful words ' in our language are powerless to 
supply ! 

The introduction of words which, independent of actual beauty, 
were archaic, and out of date, was made fashionable in poetry some 
thirty or forty years ago by a great singer, whose voice has not been 
very long silent, and of whom we read in the interesting biography 
published, after his death, by his distinguished brother that he kept 
a whole list of them in reserve, to be called to the front, like emergency 
men, when the occasion seemed to require it. I can thoroughly 
sympathise with the magic spell of the pre-Raphaelite movement : 
with the peace, and reverence, and far-off, holy calm with which a 


return to ' the primitive ' in Art or Literature is prone to inspire certain 
exceptional spirits, and so have more patience than most of my neigh- 
bours with the so-called ' affectations ' of this particular school. 

Lo, only a few strokes, it may be, of an ordinary ' J ' pen, and the 
present, with its fret and turmoil, its shrieking and snorting trains, 
' trams,' and abominable motor-cars, seems to shrivel up and dis- 
appear like a decayed bat's wing ! Once more we are in pieno quattro- 
cento, revelling in the vague iridescent hues of early pots, cathedral 
window-panes, and faded embroideries, or in the cruder smalts, and 
chromes, and dead gold of the old illuminators. There is no ' gold 
reef city,' no ' De Beers Consolidated Diamond Company,' and the 
diamonds of Brazil, with the rubies of Burmah and Ceylon, very seldom 
find their way to Europe. In the very old days say about B.C. 41 
Cleopatra, as we know, was possessed of a pair of pearl earrings, 
which, judging by a picture I have seen representing her in the act of 
dropping one of them into a goblet in order that she may drink it off 
as a toast to Mark Antony, must have been unusually fine specimens 
of their kind. But then we must remember that she was a queen 
and a Ptolemy a family celebrated for their learned and artistic 
tastes beloved, too, of the mightiest conqueror in the world, who, 
for aught we know, may even have fished up the gems in far-off 
Britain, his recent conquest, and to which, we read with some surprise, 
he was originally attracted by the reputation it had acquired for the 
beauty of its pearls. For a person of so much consideration, slaves 
were, no doubt, delving and diving all over the world with the object 
of gratifying her slightest whim. Long after the second Triumvirate, 
however, Oriental pearls and jewels of the first quality were only 
' casual ' in their appearance and unattainable save to the monarch 
upon his throne. Dame or ' damozel ' of the Middle Ages, therefore, 
who wished to set off her ' trailing robes of samite or brocade,' had 
to content herself with gems of inferior value, such as we may meet 
with, even now, roughly encrusted in ancient chalices, or in the massive 
bindings of early missals. In an old family document to which I 
lately obtained access, a necklace of carnelian ' cut in tables ' is 
deemed worthy of being handed down to posterity as an heirloom, 
and to such jewels, each one emblematic of some particular virtue, 
the young poets who are the apostles of sham medievalism are wont 
to give, perhaps, a somewhat undue pre-eminence, chiefly because, in 
so many instances, their names consist of rare and ' beautiful words,' 
which minister to their craving for the ideal. Thus, 
Beryl is a liquid gem ; 
Bright and pure as when a beam 
Cleaveth water . . . 

writes one of our modern pre-Raphaelites, in a little volume which 
lies open before me ; 

Amethyst ; a place is set 
For its lovely violet, &c. &c. 


Then, too, we have the ' onyx ' and the ' sardonyx,' the * chalce- 
dony ' and the * chrysoprase,' though, for obvious reasons, not 
unconnected with the exigencies of rhyme, some of our latter-day 
singers are apt to prefer, for the ending of their lines, the mysterious 
' chrysolite,' which is, amongst gems, even as is the ' asphodel ' in the 
poet's flower garden. 

Chrysolite for goodness doth 
Sparkle like an oven's mouth, 

I read in the same little volume, and here it is thrown in gratuitously 
and entirely independent of rhyme. 

We said things wonderful as chrysolites, 

writes the accomplished author of The City of the Soul, from which 
I have already quoted, and where we also read of a sword fashioned 
of the same perishable material. 

The above verses, in spite of a few doubtful rhymes, are full of 
spiritual suggestiveness. All that is vulgar, sensual, ' of the earth, 
earthy,' seems to crumble away and perish as we read. Nor is the 
book from which I have made most of these extracts one of those 
fatherless foundlings to whom I have given a home merely out of 
charity. The author of its being has set his name upon the title- 
page like a man ; but, alas, this is its sole claim to virility ! The 
contents are emasculate and disappointing for all their prettiness, 
besides being as the late Mr. A. W. Kingiake remarked of a 
certain Parliamentary candidate ' very considerably tainted with 

After all, the world is not wholly composed of saints and ascetics. 
There are healthy as well as wwhealthy yearnings in the human heart, 
which even such pure gems as the chrysolite are powerless to satisfy ! 

* What man is there of you, of whom if his son ask bread, will he give 
him a stone ? ' It is a case of ' beautiful words and looking upwards ' 
with a vengeance. We are almost tempted to wish that the poet had 
looked downwards sometimes for a change, and picked up some- 
thing a little more ' infinitely human,' even if he chanced upon it in 
the gutter ! 

Still, ' good ' and ' wonderful,' indeed, is the * chrysolite ' if it can 
illuminate the souls of the sadder of our poets with its ' oven-mouth ' 
sparkle, and lead them thus decorously and discreetly towards the 

* realms of the higher fancy.' I cannot say that I ever remember to 
have set eyes upon one myself ! 

Occasionally, when these green or white firstfruits of genius seem 
to their creators to be too slim and ephemeral to bear the rude buffets 
of ' this world of Death and Doubt,' they are padded out with a 
romance in blank verse, or in rhymed heroic measure, divided into 
' parts ' or * cantos.' It is from such a volume, and one that was 


not published anonymously, either, that I quote the following descrip- 
tion of the heroine : 

A line of beauty did the eyebrows trace, 
And, like the Grecian fair one, down her face 
In a straight line, her scenting-organ sped. 

(The italics are my own.) Alas, poor ' scenting-organ ' ! But for 
the immortal line describing thee as ' tip-tilted like the petal of a 
fiow'r,' how seldom hath honourable mention been made of thee in 
Poesy ! Eyes, lips, ears, hair, with many etceteras, have come in for 
almost more than their fair share of notice and approbation, and yet, 
without thee, of what account are any of them ? Whilst, when thou 
surpassest thy ordinary dimensions by one-fourth part of the traditional 
inch that is said to be so much ' upon a man's nose,' the courage and 
chivalry of Cyrano de Bergerac himself can scarcely persuade us to 
tolerate thee, even upon the boards of the Parisian stage ! 

This is the same young lady she of the ' scenting-organ ' of 
whom we read in the same poem that her 

. forth-bursting proved her mother's death. 

Once more we are treading upon the solid earth. We descend, as 
it were, with a thud, from the ' realms of the higher fancy ' ; from 
the * protoplasmic substance undefined ' ; ' indifference articulate ' ; 
from ' onyx ' and ' sardonyx,' ' chalcedony ' and ' chrysolite ' ; from 
the aesthetic atmosphere of those who wander aimlessly in the fields 
of asphodel after having breakfasted off the ' Bodley bun.' 

And yet these lines, for all their seeming absurdity, result in 
reality from ' looking upwards,' and straining after the 'perfection of 
expression which seems to demand the employment of ' beautiful 
words.' ' Dilatation,' ' exaltation of spirit ' we may call it what we 
like an inspiration ' of sorts,' are not wanting, but the author has 
not been endowed with the faculty of discrimination, and so all these 
go for naught. Still, the man who can so far forget himself and his 
ordinary traditions as to allude to a nose as a ' scenting-organ,' whilst 
incurring, it may be, the ridicule of ' the great uninspired,' has soared 
in spirit to regions that are far beyond reach of the arrows of their 
scorn, where to describe the feature in question by its usual name 
would seem almost like an insult and a sacrilege. When he can bring 
himself to call a nose ' a nose ' again, he will have fallen once more 
to earth, where, I fancy, judging from the rest of the contents of his 
book, he is likely to abide for ever. How precious, therefore, should 
be the outward and visible sign of his brief trial trip into the Empyrean, 
if things become valuable merely by reason of their rarity, which 
everything leads us to believe that they do ! 

Some of these slender little volumes contain, indeed, the subli- 
mated essence of their authors' poetical being. We hold in our hands, 


as we read them, a part of the man's nature which bears no sort of 
resemblance to his material self, as we may come to know it when 
once he has ' reverted to the briar.' His ' material self ' we may meet, 
probably, as often as we choose, if such meetings can afford us any 
satisfaction. We may see it stout, prosperous, complacent, hailing 
cabs or omnibuses with the well-furled umbrella of conventional 
respectability, and little suspecting that, for all this, we know for 
certain that ' in the days that are done ' it became responsible at the 
instigation of that other ' self,' which is now dead and departed for 
some such verses as the following : 

Our passions sustain us, and move 

To the motion of instinct desire ; 
With the rhythmical anguish of love, 

And the heaving of tremulous fire. 

The thirst unassuaged yet unsloken 

Will be drowned in the fiercest delight, 
And love will be rent and be broken 
And kissed out of feeling or sight. 

(Only this is an exceedingly favourable example.) 

But I might as well endeavour to describe the features and com- 
plexions of a whole regiment of soldiers, together with those of their 
commanding officers for all the minds represented in my collection 
are by no means upon an equality as to set down the characteristics 
of each one of the separate volumes upon my inconveniently crowded 
shelves. I have quoted from barely a dozen of them, and already 
time and space are coming to an end, and yet there they stand 
many more in their serried lines, and I am not at all sure 
that I ought not to have given precedence to some that I have left 
quite unnoticed, and whose lettered backs, to my sensitive eye, seem 
suddenly to have assumed a piqued and offended expression. 

Then, too, there are the ladies, the female poets, illustrious and 
obscure, to whom I have not even ventured to allude, but about 
whom I should like to say just a few words by way of conclusion. 

Mr. George Moore, in his Avowals, says that woman ' excels in 
detail, but never attains synthesis, not being herself synthesic ' (sic) ; 
and, furthermore, that ' it were well that the fact were fully recognised 
that the presence of women in art is waste and disappointment.' 

Not for worlds would I enter into controversy with Mr. George 
Moore, feeling sure that I should be worsted, and fearing that then 
he might call me bad names ' small, weakly creature, ridiculously 
shapen, &c. &c.,' as upon p. 328 of the March number of the Pall 
Mall Magazine or declare, perhaps, that I cooked * inadequately ' 
a reproach that would really strike home, since one cannot help regard- 
ing cooking (adequately or 'inadequately'), even in these enlightened 
days, as rather more of a woman's legitimate vocation than Art or 
Literature. What I would venture to say, however, is that when we 


take into consideration her limitations the very limitations alluded 
to by Mr. George Moore it has always struck me that, when a woman 
is impelled to depart from her natural mission the mission of cooking 
* inadequately,' let us say and to plunge into pathways which lead 
only to * waste and disappointment,' her ' call ' must be much more 
definite and imperative than the 'inspiration' of a man, although, 
according to Mr. George Moore, the result is always so unsatisfactory. 

A man, fresh from a successful career at one of our great Universi- 
ties, the swing and rhythm of Greek and Latin verses still ringing in 
his ears, and imbued, it may be, with the works of the master- singers 
of antiquity, finds little difficulty, even if he be not a truly inspired 
poet, in tossing ofi couplet or epigram, if only with the object of 
killing time upon a wet day, or when, perhaps, there is nothing 
else to kill with rod or gun, and so may be induced to write very 
respectable derivative verse merely from a feeling of ennui. He has 
striven, perhaps, when he was at Oxford, for the ' Newdigate ' ; 
possibly he may even have obtained it. This is enough to stimulate 
any literary ambition. Why should not the author of Ravenna 
aspire to the same honours that were showered, eventually, upon the 
head of the author of Timbnctoo, seeing that the two prize poems are 
' much of a muchness ' as regards their intrinsic value ? 

But it is altogether different with a woman. Ten to one that, 
with a few noteworthy exceptions, she knows little or nothing of the 
immortal poets of antiquity, and has never breathed, even in fancy, 
the stimulating atmosphere, or trod 

. . . the thymy pasture -lands 
Of high Parnassus. 

Even when she is not a professional cook or mere household drudge, 
compelled to pore over weekly accounts or darn the holes in the 
family linen, she has so many other ways of profitably passing her 
time, so many urgent demands upon her sympathy and attention, 
particularly when she is blessed, or encumbered, with noisy human 
offspring ! The ' inspiration ' must be a very potent one which can 
induce her to neglect her so-called ' duties,' even her so-called * plea- 
sures,' sometimes, in order that she may be able to satisfy her so- 
called ' poetic ' yearnings. She need never write, at any rate, simply 
from a feeling of ennui. 

And yet how decently our female poets have acquitted themselves 
in the glorious reign which has but recently come to a close ! (In the 
face of our stern critic I dare use no more enthusiastic terms.) From 
Mrs. Browning (the ' hen-bird, singing to its mate,' of Mr. George 
Moore, and to whom my remarks about a defective classical education 
do not, of course, apply) to the refined and graceful author of Opals, 
there is not much to complain of in the quality or finish of their 


Daphnis and Chloe, with other impossible shepherds and shep- 
herdesses of the past, have almost entirely disappeared from our 
midst, together with the paste-board flocks of an artificial Arcadia 
(though we may, perhaps, purchase the history of their pastoral loves 
* traduit du Grec par M. Amiot et un anonyms, for the sake of its 
binding by Derome, or its petits pieds ' inventts et peints par la main 
de S. A. R. Philippe Due d 'Orleans, Regent de France*). But that the 
more subtle and imperishable Hellenic influences still survive influ- 
ences which inspired Homer and Hesiod long before the plague of 
Egyptian myths and fables is made apparent whenever we turn to 
the writings of the greatest of our living bards, and to these the more 
cultivated of our modern female poets have been by no means insensible. 
Not to mention the ' hen-bird singing to its mate,' the late Jean Inge- 
low, to whom we are indebted for that fine poem The High Tide upon 
the Coast of Lincolnshire, is also the author of Persephone, with its 
haunting musical refrain ; Mrs. Pfeiffer, Mrs. Meynell. Miss Mary 
Robinson (who, I am told, prefers still to be known by the maiden 
name in which she achieved her first triumphs), have all gone to the 
fountain-head for their inspiration, whilst I have often thought how 
proud and pleased ' the great god Pan ' might well have been, 
Down in the reeds by the river, 

could he have only foreseen that, even in these far-off, practical days 
of ' bike ' and * motor,' he would find an enthusiastic admirer and 
apologist in the charming Lady Margaret Sackville ! 

And yet Mr. George Moore says that we are not ' synthesic,' and, 
what is more, that we can never become so ! ... Being, unfortunately, 
a woman myself, and knowing all our little ways, I will go a step 
further than Mr. George Moore, and wager that comparatively few 
of us are even aware of the derivation or correct significance of the 
term. But then this is just what makes me so particularly proud of 
my sex, although it is one that has been imposed upon me without 
the asking. We can make our omelets without eggs, and our bricks 
without straw, and the omelets are really quite eatable, and the bricks 
tolerably substantial, for all that. This is our own precious secret, 
a ' woman's privilege,' and that it should make some people rather 
provoked with us I can perfectly well understand. 




THE present war has already been fruitful in novel questions of inter- 
national law. A few of the many special questions which have 
arisen in consequence of the changed conditions of modern warfare 
I propose discussing. But before doing so I touch upon some of the 
larger aspects of this war, interesting to the jurist and likely to 
reappear in the future. One of them is the change to be noted in 
the policy of neutrals in regard to the action of belligerents at sea : a 
change in a movement which has long been going on. and an un- 
expected result or concomitant of the growth of large armaments. 
For some years the development of maritime international law pro- 
ceeded along one line. The supremacy of the Navy of this country 
was either taken for granted as natural in view of its possessions 
and dependence for food upon foreign supplies, or the day when this 
supremacy was to be overthrown was regarded as distant and un- 
certain. The other chief States of the world, possessing great armies, 
were resigned, for a time at least, to England's predominance at sea. 
In these circumstances the laws of war at sea were moulded by two 
forces : England pressing hard and exaggerating the rights of belliger- 
ents, while other Powers were the champions of the rights of neutrals. 
They favoured ' free ships making free goods.' They were jealous of 
the exercise of the right of search ; France carrying that jealousy to 
the point of suffering for many years the slave trade to flourish in 
certain waters rather than British cruisers should exercise this right, 
and again in 1887 declining to be a party to the much-needed con- 
vention for the suppression of the sale of liquor among North Sea 
fishermen by the keepers of floating public-houses, rather than 
sanction ' a derogation of the fundamental principles of our public 
maritime law.' l Those Powers refused to recognise cruiser blockades, 
or blockades of which there has been no notification. They were, 
on the whole, though with oscillations in practice, in favour of a strict 
limitation of contraband to articles directly of use in war as against 
the comprehensive conception recognised by England. If there did 

1 Report of Commission of Chamber of Deputies, 1892. 


not always exist in form an armed neutrality, there was a standing 
array of interests on the side of neutrals. There was a cloud of writers 
of the stamp of Dupuis and Hautefeuille who denounced the egotism 
and tyranny of England. On the whole, until the latter half of lasj; 
century the belligerents had the best of it. There was some truth in 
M. Dupuis's remark : ' Dans le compromis que le droit des gens 
tend a realiser entre les interets contradictoires des belligerants et des 
neutres, le balance risque fort de pencher toujours quelque peu du 
cote des premiers.' 2 

But from 1856, when England surrendered one of the sharpest of 
her weapons, there was a shrinkage in belligerent rights. They were 
asserted, it is true, with somewhat of the old force, though in new 
forms, in 1861-64 by the United States. But, on the whole, since that 
time the disposition has been to insist that, peace being the normal 
order of things, the interests of neutrals should prevail in a conflict 
with those of belligerents ; that, for example, the intercourse between 
nations by mail steamers and otherwise should be little obstructed ; 
that only munitions of war and the like should be treated as contra- 
band ; and that blockades should be respected only if they were strictly 
efficacious. It would seem, however, as if there was a recovery in 
belligerent rights. Perhaps that is only the inevitable outcome of a 
naval war ; belligerents using every weapon in their power, and 
neutrals not being organised or pressing collectively with equal spirit 
and zeal their interests. Perhaps it is a consequence or natural con- 
comitant of great armaments. Several States possessing, or aspiring 
to possess, powerful navies able to cope, single-handed or jointly, with 
any fleet ; the supremacy at sea of any Power being regarded as 
dangerous ; the value of ' sea power ' as a factor in warfare realised as 
it never was before, there is a rise in belligerent rights ; a reluctance 
to propose or assent to any declaration which may fetter the action 
of the States which have not hitherto possessed maritime power, but 
which may one day acquire it. If I am not misinformed, more than 
one Government has, on the advice of its experts, refrained from 
speaking distinctly as to recent acts which on the face of them 
seemed to conflict with the plain interests of neutrals. On the outlook 
for what is to their advantage, they do not know what it may prove 
to be. There is reluctance to do anything which might hinder 
Governments in the event of war doing all that expediency may in 
unforeseen circumstances dictate as to wireless telegraphy or sub- 
marine cables. At the opening of this century there seems to be 
what there was at the beginning of last century, an exaggeration of 
maritime belligerent rights ; with this difference it is an exaggeration 
all round. : 

I note a second peculiarity of this war, and one which has already 
produced much perplexity and confusion and with far-extending con- 
2 R. G, do Droit International, 1903, p. 342. 


sequences. Usually belligerents fight on belligerents' soil. If they 
make war on the soil of neutrals, they in effect make war on the latter, 
or give cause for the latter doing so. The very basis of international 
law is the assumption that each nation is master in its own house, 
that its territory is to be respected. But in the present contest this 
is ignored; all is confusion ; it is hard to make out who are bellige- 
rents and what is neutral soil. It is true that, with spheres of in- 
fluence, protectorates and suzerainties, and military occupations, 
with such anomalies as the administration of Cyprus, Egypt, and 
Bosnia, ideas on this point are not as clear as they once were. We 
have seen of late so much interference by strong States in the 
affairs of the weak in the name of European concert that one might 
at times fancy the days of the Congress of Vienna and the ' European 
police ' then exercised over the weak had returned. Things were 
topsy-turvy in China when the Allies in 1900-1, declaring that they 
were not at war with her, killed her soldiers and occupied her capital. 
Manchuria, which is occupied by Russia, is still an integral part of 
the Chinese Empire. Yet it is treated in many ways as if it were not 
occupied militarily but actually annexed. Its inhabitants, Chinese 
subjects, are compelled to guard the Siberian railways. Korea has 
been alternately a protectorate of Japan and China. Nominally there 
subsisted a treaty by which Japan renounced its sovereign rights and 
declared Korea to be a sovereign State, the King subsequently pro- 
claiming himself Emperor in manifestation of his independence. 
Korea, probably under pressure, has since the war concluded a con- 
vention with Japan : a strange incident in a war avowedly begun 
for the securing of the independence of the former. Instead of con- 
forming, as in theory might have been expected, to the articles in the 
Hague Convention relating to military occupation, both Powers have 
treated Korea from the outset very much as if it were belligerent 
soil. Nor is it satisfactory to say ' Korea is outside the region of 
international law.' That simplifies the problems here touched, but only 
by ignoring the difficulties. Nice questions of private law will arise 
in these circumstances. Suppose that munitions of war were sent to 
Seoul ; may they be lawfully seized as contraband, an essential of 
which is that they are going directly or eventually to a hostile 
destination ? Would a prize court condemn them, and neutrals 
acquiesce in such a decision ? It is probable that courts would 
look, as is their inclination nowadays, to the actual condition of 
things, and have regard to the State which in fact controlled the 
situation, without reference to the titular sovereign Power. But 
what is happening there opens up prospects prejudicial to smaller 
States. ' Buffer States ' in particular are likely to have a bad time of 
it in future wars. The assumption of the equality of the States of 
the world, always a fiction, promises to become an absurdity. 

I note a further characteristic of this war : a set of facts lying 


perhaps outside the domain of international law, but affecting some of 
its problems. Hitherto, at the opening of almost every war, whether 
the parties to it were civilised or not, it has unconsciously been deemed 
necessary to resort to an artifice or expedient in order to create (if 
I may say so) the sort of atmosphere in which two nations of ordinary 
humanity can contemplate in calmness or without remorse the suffer- 
ings inflicted upon an adversary by war that monster, to quote 
Bossuet's words, ' le plus cruel que 1'enfer a jamais vomi pour la 
mine des hommes.' Only, it would seem, when racial hatred had 
been thus roused could the work be done with satisfaction. And so 
it has often been the self-imposed mission of a certain class of writers 
to spread and foster the notion that the people opposed to their own 
were cruel, or barbarous, or repulsive in their habits, or somehow odious. 
Almost regularly at the opening of almost every war there has been 
a flight of such calumnies ; the lie patriotic being the necessary con- 
comitant of a declaration of hostilities. It is matter of history that 
men of genius have stooped to this ignoble traffic in slander. It is 
a lasting regret to the admirers of Mommsen that he penned an epistle 
containing insults to the French people in their bitter hour, and that 
there came from Paris retorts equally calumnious. And as war has 
gone on, there has generally been developed greed for stories, for the 
most part unsupported by credible evidence, to the prejudice of the 
foe and about his treachery and his cruelty. Now, so far, there has 
been little or nothing of the kind. Both sides recognise the virtues 
of their opponents. They speak of their bravery and their kindness 
to the wounded ; and there have been fewer allegations of abuse of 
the white flag than was ever probably known. 

What will be the outcome of this ? These good signs may dis- 
appear if the business drags on ; but it is a new factor in war that the 
spurious and artificial racial hatred which has almost always accom- 
panied it is absent at the beginning. Not more remarkable is the 
swift assimilation by Japan of the resources of military science than 
the assimilation, rapid and complete, of the best traditions, the 
courtesies and amenities of European warfare. Experience shows 
that if hostilities are long continued, passions kept in check at last 
break loose ; the vanquished are irritated and desperate ; the victors 
become impatient at resistance unreasonably continued. But, so far 
as things have gone, one may say that a non-Christian State has set an 
example to Christian nations in the conduct of war (as far as it is 
possible) on the lines of civilisation. The superior prestige of the 
West for humanity is gone. Touches of humanity and sympathy, 
never wanting in war, have abounded. The Japanese have tended 
their wounded adversaries, and have resorted to no shabby subter- 
fuges ; and on the death of Admiral Makaroff they paid the tribute 
of brave men to a fallen foe. They have paid for what they have 
taken. They have made friends of the population in which they 
VOL. LVI No. 329 L 


moved. Already the ring of European nations whose consent has 
made international law is broken in upon by the admission of Turkey 
and Japan. International law cannot be quite what it was if it 
henceforth expresses the consent of powerful Asiatic non-Christian 
States as well as of European nations. 

The last general remark to be made is this : In view of the swift 
fate of the Petropaulovsk and Japanese transports hundreds of men 
destroyed as if by an earthquake or a volcanic outburst such as that 
of Mount Pelee is there any limit in modern warfare to the use of 
destructive agencies which chemistry may devise, provided they are 
effective ? The committee which, in 1847, rejected Lord Dundonald's 
scheme for destroying by poisonous gases or other agencies whole 
armies and garrisons, did so mainly on the ground of humanity; 
it did not ' accord with the feelings and principles of civilised warfare/ 
Would a military committee of to-day have the same scruples ? The 
Duke of Wellington's objection to the scheme was ' Two can play at 
that game.' Lord Dundonald's retort, ' Yes, but the first of the two. 
wins,' might be deemed convincing. With torpedoes and submarine 
mines regarded as part of * good war,' it seems almost squeamish to* 
stop at anything. All the Powers at the Hague except the United 
States were against the use of shells containing asphyxiating gases. 
But there was weight in Admiral Mahan's contention ' that it was 
illogical and not demonstratively humane to be tender about 
asphyxiating men with gas when all were prepared to admit that it 
was allowable to blow the bottom out of an ironclad at midnight, 
throwing four or five hundred men into the sea to be choked by water, 
with scarcely the smallest chance of escape.' The compromise which 
the usages of war have made between what was allowable and what 
was not was never quite reasonable ; it differs capriciously as to land 
and sea ; it does not rest on any real ethical distinction, but is the 
outcome of historical accidents and traditions ; a strange mixture of 
caste and general morality ; it now seems to be hopelessly absurd. 

Of the special questions which have pressed to the front since last 
February, few are yet sufficiently ripe for speaking positively about 
them. What Colonel Lonsdale Hale calls ' the fog of war ' hangs thick 
over them, and will not completely rise until it is over. One obscure 
point concerns neutrals. If half of what is stated with respect to 
the sale of vessels or munitions of war taking place in Germany and 
Chili be true, there will be a serious case for compensation. To be 
sure, so far the mercantile marine of Japan has not suffered much 
from these purchases, if real. But if cruisers traceable to German 
ports are fitted out or sold to Russia, it would require little ingenuity 
to figure out a heavy claim for losses and expenses attributable to 
these vessels. History seems to show that the result of such demands 
against neutrals depends on the measure of military success of the 
belligerent. The victor in war has a way of succeeding in arbitrations. 
At the outset of hostilities was raised a delicate question, too 

lightly settled by many who professed to speak in the name of inter- 
national law. A formal declaration is not needed to constitute a 
state of war, with all the results to neutrals and belligerents ; 3 and in 
modern times such a declaration has been rather the exception than 
the rule. With actual hostilities at once arise all the rights and 
duties of belligerents and neutrals. But this does not completely 
dispose of the question which has arisen, or justify every attack by 
surprise. International law offers no excuse for such acts as the 
invasion of the Palatinate by Louis XIV., or of Silesia by Frederick 
the Great, without warning, formal or otherwise. An attack 
without intimating, directly or indirectly, that a refusal of demands 
is to be followed by war, is criminal in the forum of the jurist as it is 
according to the consciences of plain men. Some clear indication of 
what is the alternative to denial of demands is admitted to be essential 
to loyal warfare. About the 5th of February the Japanese Government, 
after a long delay of which they had apparently good cause to com- 
plain, recalled their Ambassador, and notified interruption of diplo- 
matic relations a state of things which is not, of course, neeessarily 
equivalent to a state of war, and has not always been followed by it. 
On the night of the 8th or 9th Admiral Togo torpedoed the Russian 
vessels at Port Arthur. It was an attack of surprise. Was it a 
treacherous and disloyal act ? The question must be put with the 
knowledge that a nation which is patient may be duped ; that the 
first blow counts much ; and that under cover of continuing negotia- 
tion a country unprepared might deprive another better equipped of 
its advantages. But it is a nice question whether the negotiations 
had reached on the 8th or 9th of February a point at which discussion 
had been abandoned, and both sides had accepted the arbitrament of 
.battle. I will only say that the recent precedent is of evil omen, and 
that it is to be feared that in future we may see blows struck, not 
merely without formal notice, but while diplomatists are still debating. 
I am not expressing an opinion on the particular act in saying that 
there has been an unfortunate perhaps inevitable retrogression. 
Since 1870 there has been a tendency to abide by the old rule, which 
.regarded a war without a declaration or ultimatum as disloyal. For 
example, notice was given by Montenegro to Turkey in 1876, by 
Russia to Turkey in 1878, and by the United States to Spain in 1898. 
In the absence of trustworthy information there is little use dis- 
cussing the charge against the Russians of sowing at haphazard mines 
in the open sea to the peril of neutral shippers. The facts are alto- 
gether controverted, and we must wait until the reports of the com- 
manders of neutral fleets are forthcoming. The probability is that 

3 This is not universally admitted. M. Fillet (Les Lois Actttelles de la Guerre, 
1. 64) says : ' Une guerre sans declaration n'est pas une guerre loyale.' See Clunet, 
1904, 257. Writing in La Libre Parole with reference to the outbreak of hostilities, 
M. Drumont says : ' Le droit international a ve"cu ! ' 

L 2 


such mines were placed in the waters contiguous to Port Arthur, and 
in bad weather drifted out to sea ; which happened to the Russian 
mines laid in the Baltic in 1856 ; 4 an accident which might give rise to 
claims for compensation by injured neutrals, just as might injuries 
done by stray shots or by torpedoes or submarine boats. 

Of the special questions which this war has brought forward the 
most perplexing is that of wireless telegraphy. It confronts inter- 
national lawyers before they have made up their minds what to say 
as to the rights and duties of belligerents in regard to submarine cables. 
Their position in time of war has been more than once discussed at 
international conferences. But no rules have so far been generally 
adopted by nations. The Cable Conference of 1884 declined to go 
into the matter ; Article 15 of the Convention says : ' II est bien 
entendu que les stipulations de la presente convention ne portent 
aucune atteinte a la liberte d'action des belligerants.' Apart from the 
difficulties inherent in adapting old rules to this new mode of com- 
munication, a powerful instrument of war as well as a servant of 
peace, there is another in the disposition to regard the matter as if it 
were a question of England against the rest of the world. She possesses 
or controls a large part of the existing cables ; many of them pass 
through or touch her territory ; and there is force in the contention 
that : ' Dans 1'etat actuel des communications telegraphiques le monde 
entier est le tributaire de la Grande Bretagne, car c'est a Londres 
qu'aboutissent la plupart des fils qui relient PEurope aux autres 
Continents.' 5 

The Institut de Droit International in 1879 adopted a resolution 
that in time of war cables connecting neutral countries were inviolable. 
At its meeting in Brussels the Institut passed a series of resolutions 
which probably express the general understanding as to what is right 
and proper. After reaffirming the inviolability of cables connecting 
neutral territories, the Institut added : 

Le cable reliant les territoires de deux belligerants ou deux parties du terri- 

4 See Earp's Sir Charles Napier's Campaign in the Baltic, pp. 132, 165, 276. 

* B. G. de Droit International, 1901, p. 682. I quote for what it is worth the 
statement of M. Bey : ' En 1870, la notification de la declaration de guerre n'est 
transmise a 1'escadre d'extreme-Orient qu'apres avoir et6 communique'e aux navires de 
commerce allemands a ce moment dans les ports chinois. Lors de la campagne du 
Tonkin, en 1885, 1'Angleterre se procure la clef du chiffre employ^ par le Gouverne- 
ment francais, et prend avant celui-ci connaissance des de"pches de 1'Amiral Courbet ; 
de mme, en 1893, les instructions envoyees & 1'Amiral Humann au conflit franco- 
Siamois sont communiquees au Foreign Office par les compagnies anglaises chargees 
de les transmettre. En 1888, un telegramme du Gouvernement du Congo au Hoi des 
Beiges au sujet de 1'exp^dition Stanley-Emin Pacha est connu par la presse anglaise 
avant d'etre parvenu a destination ; il en est de meme du succes de ['expedition du 
General Duchesne a Madagascar en 1895. Enfin, en 1894, la mort du Sultan du 
Maroc, susceptible d'entrainer de graves complications, est dissimule'e vingt-quatre 
heures aux Gouvernements inte"resses pendant que le Ministre d'Angleterre a Tanger, 
pour correspondre avec le Foreign Office, occupe pendant une nuit entiere le cable 
anglais, qui seul reliait alora le Maroc au reste du monde." (R. G. de Droit Inter- 
national, 1901, p. 683.) 


toire d'un des belligerants peut etre coupe partout, excepte dans la mer territoriale 
et dans les eaux neutralisees dependant d'un territoire neutre. 

Le cable reliant un territoire neutre au territoire d'un des belligerants ne 
pent en aucun cas etre coupe dans la mer territoriale ou dans les eaux neutra- 
lisees dependant d'un territoire neutre. En haute mer, ce cable ne peut etre 
coupe que s'il y a blocus effectif et dans les limites de la ligne du blocus, sauf re- 
tablissement du cable dans le plus bref delai possible. Ce cable peut toujours 
etre coupe sur le territoire et dans la mer territoriale dependant d'un territoire 
ennemi jusqu'aune distance de troismilles marins de la baisse de basse-mare'e. 

Few of those who discuss the subject dwell sufficiently upon the 
differences between contraband or quasi-contraband and vessels 
conveying the same and telegrams and submarine cables. Telegraphic 
communications may be called quasi-contraband. But you do not 
seize a vessel because it may be carrying contraband ; you do not 
destroy it if it does ; you do not confiscate it if the owner has acted 
innocently. Transmitting messages to belligerents may be likened to 
breaking a blockade. But the analogy is faint. You do not destroy 
vessels which may break it; you do not capture them, unless the 
blockade is effective. In a maritime war a cable is something sui 
generis. A belligerent cannot exercise over it any right similar to that 
of search ; it may be an instrument of war much more important than 
a cargo of contraband or a blockade-runner ; the fact to be recognised 
is that he may be safe only if he cuts it. The hesitation of States 
unable to foresee circumstances in which interruption to cable com- 
munications might be vital to them is natural. Looking to what may 
hang upon telegraphic communication transports intercepted, a fleet 
destroyed, the fate of a campaign [affected it is too much to expect 
belligerents always to keep within the four corners of the rules which 
I have quoted. There will be circumstances, it may be anticipated, in 
which they will not suffer, if they can help it, a telegraphic cable, no 
matter who is the owner or what are its termini, to be used to their 
detriment. To whatever rules they assent will probably be added 
the sacramental formula, ' So far as circumstances permit.' 

I put less trust in rules which there may be an irresistible temptation 
to break or evade than in a proper system of compensation by belli- 
gerents not only for structural injuries, but loss of traffic, meted out 
by a tribunal possessing general confidence. In legal development, 
when a new principle has not yet been evolved, and when, in the 
absence of accepted rules, each case depends on its peculiar cir- 
cumstances, compensation is, as here, the only possible alleviation 
of hardships. At present, however, there are no settled ideas or 
practice as to such compensation. The Americans, in their war with 
Spain, cut the cable of the Eastern Extension Company from Hong- 
Kong to Manila at the shore end. The company claimed compensa- 
tion for Admiral Dewey's act of war. English counsel gave an 
opinion favourable to the claim of the company for indemnity to the 
extent of the amount expended on repairing the cable cut at Manila. 
The Attorney-General of tin United States advised his Government 


that the claim was not maintainable, on the ground that the ' property 
of a neutral permanently situated within the territory of our enemy 
is, from its situation alone, liable to damage from the lawful 'operations 
of war, which this cutting is conceded to have been, as no compensa- 
tion is due for such damage. . . . That is a rule applying to property 
of a neutral which he has placed within the territory of our enemy, 
which property our necessary military operations damage or destroy. 
It takes no account of the character of the property, but only of its 
location. ... It argues nothing that cables have not heretofore been 
the subject of any discussion of this rule. The same might be said 
of many kinds of property, either because they happened not to be 
injured, or because the rule was so well understood that a discussion 
was deemed superfluous. ... It is said that the whole utility of the 
cable is destroyed for many miles by a cutting within territorial 
waters; in other words, that the damage extends outside of terri- 
torial waters. But is this true ? Undoubtedly the interruption of 
traffic over it does or may extend for many miles ; but the interrup- 
tion of traffic is not the basis of the claim. When repaired, it was 
repaired, as it had been cut, within territorial waters, and was then the 
same as before the injury. It was possible to take up the outer end 
and operate the cable to Hong-Kong from the time it was cut ; and it was 
the sealing of the cable at Hong-Kong, and not the cutting, which pre- 
vented this from being done. . . . The obvious difference between a cut- 
ting within and a cutting without territorial waters, however it may be 
equally troublesome to the owner, goes to the foundation of the rule au- 
thorising the destruction of property because it is within the territory.' 6 

These reasons are highly technical, and are not convincing. They 
do not accord with the equity of plain men. The property of an 
innocent subject of a neutral State property which he could not 
remove when war broke out had been injured. The whole line 
from Hong-Kong to Manila was rendered for a time useless to the 
company. It is conceived that a proper system of compensation 
should provide for such cases and others pretty certain to arise in 
maritime warfare. It is somewhat a waste of time and ingenuity, 
I fear, to attempt to determine beforehand with great detail the precise 
limits of action to which in this matter belligerents may be expected to 
conform. More pressing is the preparation of a carefully thought-out 
scheme of compensation. 

The reluctance to speak positively as to the use by neutrals on 
the high seas or on neutral territory of wireless telegraphy is intelli- 
gible. Its utility in warfare has yet to be determined. It was absurd 
to describe, in the language of the Russian note, the telegraphists on 
board the Haimun as ' spies ' a term defined in every military manual. 7 

6 Opinions of Attorney-Generals, xxii. p. 315. I gather from the Secretary of the 
Company that the claim is still under consideration. 

7 See Bismarck's famous note of November 19, 1870, as to the treatment of 
aeronauts in time of war. 


If there is any doubt as to its meaning, it arises from the 
modern tendency to greater leniency towards a class of men per- 
forming duties which every soldier considers honourable. In these 
days Major Andre might not have been executed. He probably 
would not have experienced the humiliation of being hanged. 
Wireless apparatus on shipboard could not by any stretch of reason 
be classed, according to the threat in the Russian note, as contra- 
band ; every requisite is absent. Nor is there a recognised doctrine 
according to which neutrals may be excluded from ' the sphere of 
military operations ' outside the belligerents' territory a somewhat 
novel phrase covering a novel doctrine. But all cause for complaint 
by belligerents is not removed by vessels with wireless telegraphy 
keeping outside the three-mile line. That for some purposes is a 
sufficient zone of safety, while it is not so for others ; it is a popular 
error that international law draws a hard-and-fast line as to this. 
Operation by wireless telegraphy might be on such a scale and in 
such circumstances as to amount to assisting the enemy. It would 
be unreasonable to expect a belligerent to look on while a vessel 
equipped with this apparatus cruised seven or eight miles off shore, 
collecting military information and transmitting it, directly or cir- 
cuitously, to the other belligerent ; this might be lending aid, and of 
a most valuable kind, to the enemy. What is at present a small 
matter might conceivably become by some future development and 
organisation so serious as to be a breach of neutrality and an offence 
to be taken cognisance of in an amendment to Section 8 (4) of the 
Foreign Enlistment Act. What is to be insisted upon as to this and 
many other points which have arisen in this war is that there is no 
consensus of nations as to them, and that no one is entitled to say, 
* International law condemns this.' That holds good even of such a 
matter as what is contraband by the law of nations. 

One minor matter of some novelty may be mentioned. It is a 
nice question of casuistry how far it is legitimate to set troops of 
wholly different degrees of civilisation to fight against each other ; 
and it is a question as to which opinion is apt to be inconsistent 
The employment of black troops by the United States was applauded 
by those who, borrowing Chatham's invectives against the use of the 
Red Indians in war, denounced the employment of the>Turcos in 
1870. The Russian Government appear to have done something 
which is almost as questionable as the conduct of the French. Certain 
of the convicts detained in the Island of Sakhalin a particularly 
bad class of criminals are, it is said, to be used as soldiers ; a revival 
of a practice not known, so far as I am aware, since in France in 
1793 was formed a legion of formats. These recruits are to be em- 
ployed on what is akin to police duty. But should the tide of war 
roll in their direction, deplorable things may happen ; and in any 
case it is an unfortunate precedent. 




THE Whitsuntide recess, and Ascot, not to speak of the ordinary 
gaieties of the season, have interfered to some extent with the course 
of politics during the past month. Possibly, also, our politicians have 
been glad of any excuse for absenting themselves from the House o 
Commons. At all events, it has hardly been in the Parliamentary 
debates that the political interest has centred of late. And yet it is 
difficult to recall a time when the political situation was at once more 
difficult and more interesting than it is at this moment. The life of 
the Ministry and of Parliament seems to hang by a thread. At any 
moment it may be cut short. But the thread is a tough one, and 
has successfully withstood so many shocks that wise men have given 
up speculating upon the precise moment at which it will at last b* 
severed. For the mere partisan the situation is quite simple. The 
thick-and-thin advocate of the Ministry sees in Mr. Balfour the most 
adroit of Parliamentary tacticians, and he looks to him to juggle 
successfully, possibly for a couple of years to come, with the succes- 
sive difficulties which he has to face. The resolute Liberal, on the 
other hand, whilst admitting Mr. Balfour's cleverness, maintains, 
first, that the cleverness is not in itself very reputable ; secondly, that, 
after all, the Prime Minister is not a free agent, but is compelled to 
keep measure to the tune played by Mr. Chamberlain ; and, finally, 
that it does not matter a rap with what skill Mr. Balfour glides over 
thin ice, so long as public feeling out of doors rises daily and per- 
ceptibly against him. These, however, are only the crude outward 
features of the situation. Beati possidentes ! No doubt it gives much 
comfort to the average Ministerialist to know that his party is still in 
possession of power, and that no day for its ejectment has as yet 
been fixed. No doubt, also, the sturdy member of the Opposition is- 
equally satisfied by the testimony of the by-elections, and the proof 
forthcoming on all hands of the grotesque failure of the raging and 
tearing agitation which he feared so greatly twelve months ago. But 
behind these obvious facts lie others of greater importance, which the: 
events of last month have forced into prominence. 

1904 LAST MONTH 153 

To begin with, it looks, at the moment at which I write, as though 
there must be an early end to what has been widely, but not inaccu- 
rately, described as the farce of Mr. Balfour's fiscal policy. The 
Prime Minister has successfully evaded every attempt made in the 
House of Commons to extract from him a frank and intelligible defini- 
tion of that policy. He still sits triumphantly upon the fence, and 
neither the reproaches of his opponents nor the entreaties of his 
friends have caused him to descend from it. But apparently pressure 
has been brought to bear upon him from another quarter, and it is 
pressure to which he may yet have to yield. The Duke of Devonshire 
has been formally ejected from the Presidency of the Liberal Unionist 
Association, and his place, we are now told, is to be taken by 
Mr. Chamberlain. No one can reasonably object to this step. Mr. 
Chamberlain is, without doubt, the most powerful and important 
person left in the Liberal Unionist party, and he is certainly entitled 
to succeed the Duke in the office of President. But with him are to 
be associated as Vice-Presidents two members of the Cabinet, the 
Marquis of Lansdowne and the Earl of Selborne. This in itself is a 
quite unobjectionable arrangement. But if it be true, as semi-official 
announcements declare, that the first step of the reorganised Liberal 
Unionist Association will be to pronounce strongly in favour of Mr. 
Chamberlain's fiscal policy, it is difficult to see how an acute crisis is 
to be avoided in the Ministerial ranks. The Free Traders in those 
ranks are hardly likely to accept with equanimity a declaration in 
favour of Protection from a body two of whose officials are Cabinet 
Ministers of the first rank. The bland assurances which have hitherto 
sufficed to avert an open rupture among the majority in the House of 
Commons will scarcely carry weight in face of the capture by the 
Protectionists not only of the Liberal Unionist organisation, but of 
members of the Cabinet so distinguished as Lords Lansdowne and 
Selborne. I have never, in these pages, dwelt upon the gossip which 
at all times runs riot in the lobbies at Westminster. Most of it is 
foolish, and it is generally based upon the slightest of foundations ; 
but it is impossible for anyone to close his ears to the rumour which 
asserts that this new step on the part of Mr. Chamberlain in the 
reorganisation of the Liberal Unionist Association is the result of a 
determination on his part to force the running, and to commit, so far 
as he can, the whole Ministerial party to his fiscal policy. He has 
had to submit to many mortifications of late, and his is by no means 
a nature that loves to kiss the rod. It must be bad enough for him to 
see election after election resulting in the return of those who are 
opposed tooth and nail to his food-tax ; but what must be infinitely 
worse is the fact that his own chosen candidates resolutely shrink 
from being publicly identified with his policy. The Balfour umbrella, 
to revive an illustration of old Gladstonian days, furnishes them with 
a shelter of which they eagerly avail themselves not, apparently, 


with great success so far as electoral results are concerned. It is easy 
to understand that this is not a state of things pleasing to the ex- 
Colonial Secretary. In his eyes, those who are not for him are against 
him, and no one can be surprised if he should have resolved that a 
farce which has been somewhat unduly prolonged should be ended 
with as little delay as possible. It thus seems not impossible that 
before another month has passed over our heads we shall be brought 
face to face with a change in the political situation which may alter 
many things. 

It is not to the current and open events of the past month that 
we have to look for real light upon the great political movements of 
the time. So far as these events are concerned they are almost wholly 
unfavourable to Mr. Chamberlain. The by-elections have proved 
once more that the masses of the electors have not only been unaffected 
by his strenuous appeals, but are still resolutely opposed to his re- 
actionary ideas. Fiscal reform has even, it is said, ceased to be 
popular in smart society, where a year ago it was the fashionable cult. 
The Cobden centenary celebrations, though they may have had the 
defects common to all popular celebrations of the kind, have undoubtedly 
shown how strong a hold Cobdenism has secured upon the nation. 
Mr. Chamberlain's Tariff Commission, it is true, is still at work, and I 
am told by those who ought to know that the new Protectionists 
expect much from the result of its labours. But for the present it 
conducts its proceedings with a decorous privacy, and the bomb 
which it is to launch against Free Trade has still to be fashioned. But 
behind the labours of the Cobden Club on one side, and of the Tariff 
Commission on the other, the real forces are silently at work ; and 
among these none is more potent than the personality of Mr. Chamber- 
lain himself. Whatever he may have lost in prestige by his abortive 
agitation in the country, he has certainly not lost the unique power 
which he wields within the Ministerial ranks in Parliament. The 
Government depends for its continued existence upon his support, 
and though it is natural to conclude that he would be loth to pass 
sentence of death upon an Administration of which his son is a member, 
no outsider can venture to predict when the psychological moment 
may arrive when he will decide that, for the benefit of his cause, the 
curtain ought to be rung down upon the present act in the drama. 
His speech at the City dinner to the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
suggests that he has already framed a new plan of campaign, and that 
his present idea is to ask the country for its confidence on the strength 
of his assumed ability to provide it with new sources of revenue, the 
burden of which will fall, not upon us, but upon the stranger outside 
our gates. That we shall have to discover new sources of revenue, 
if our trade does not improve and there is to be no reduction of our 
expenditure, is only too certain ; but that we are in a position to 
compel other people to provide us with the money we need is a pro- 

1904 LAST MONTH 155 

position that Mr. Chamberlain will find it somewhat difficult to induce 
the country to accept. Even Mr. Gladstone, as we know, failed 
signally on the one occasion on which he made an appeal to the mer- 
cenary instincts of the electors, and in matters of finance Mr. Chamber- 
lain's warmest admirer will admit that he is not Mr. Gladstone. Still, 
the fact remains that we seem to be entering upon a new phase of the 
great controversy, a phase in which our unbridled expenditure and 
the trade depression so largely due to the losses of the South African 
war will be claimed as assets by the fiscal reformers. It is not impos- 
sible that one of the consequences of this change of tactics will be an 
earlier dissolution than many seem to anticipate. 

Rumour one must again apologise for referring to so very doubtful 
an authority has for months past informed the world that Mr. 
Chamberlain does not look for a Ministerial victory at the next 
General Election. In this instance the rumour is not, I believe, 
unfounded. What Mr. Chamberlain anticipates is a Liberal majority 
of somewhat uncertain extent. The Opposition is then to come into 
power, and is to remain in office for a very limited period, not ex- 
ceeding two years. This is the forecast of one who is both a shrewd 
judge and a pronounced adversary of the Liberal party. This being 
the case, it cannot be presumptuous to deal with the prospects of 
Liberalism, more especially since, during the last month, some light 
has been thrown upon those prospects by Lord Rosebery's speech at 
the Queen's Hall. I need not discuss that speech at length. What- 
ever else may be said about it, it was at least the speech of one who, 
whatever may be the number of his followers, undoubtedly spoke as 
a leader. His survey of the general situation was wide and luminous, 
and even those Liberals who have the least sympathy with his opinions 
upon some subjects would be very ill-advised if they failed to benefit 
by it, and by the general tenor of the advice which he gave them. 
But the great merit of Lord Rosebery's declaration was the emphasis 
with which it drew attention to that which is, after all, the crux of 
the situation, so far as Liberalism is concerned. The party must, 
before long, make its great appeal to the electors. It has enough, and 
more than enough, in the Ministerial blunders of the last nine years 
upon which to found its claim to a vote of confidence from the public. 
The old khaki cry is dead ; how completely dead it is was proved by 
the Market Harborough election, in which a typical representative of 
those whom their opponents were wont to describe as pro-Boers 
secured a much larger majority than any Liberal had ever before 
obtained in the constituency. But if this cry is dead, another, and 
a still more formidable one, remains. What is to be the policy of a 
Liberal Government, supposing one to be formed as the result of the 
General Election, with regard to Ireland ? Upon some points there 
need be no hesitation in answering this question. Administrative 
reform, sorely needed in all parts of the United Kingdom, is nowhere 


needed so urgently as in Ireland. Upon that point the Liberal party 
in all its branches is united. The sympathetic treatment of all reason- 
able Irish demands with a view to giving the country, so far as justice 
permits, the government which it desires, and without which it will 
never be content, is another question upon which there is but one 
opinion in the ranks of Liberalism. But are the Liberals, if they 
should return to power, to take up the thread broken in 1894, and to 
seek to revive that Home Rule legislation which they pursued with so 
much ardour, and at so great a cost to themselves, during the latest 
years of the Gladstonian regime ? This was really the question dis- 
cussed briefly but clearly by Lord Rosebery in the Queen's Hall 
speech. There is no need to say how he dealt with it. He declared 
plainly that the next Parliament, if it had a Liberal majority, neither 
could nor would deal with the question of Home Rule. His views 
are those which I feel convinced are held by the overwhelming majority 
of Liberals, certainly by all who care to look the facts in the face. 
We cannot revive the passionate pilgrimage of the years between 
1885 and 1894 ; and if we could, there is no reason to suppose that 
public opinion in Great Britain has changed to such an extent as to 
support a renewed Home Rule policy, or that the House of Lords has 
repented of its rejection of Mr. Gladstone's scheme. To seek to 
revive that scheme under present conditions would be an act of 
suicide on the part of the Liberal leaders. They have work of their 
own to do for Great Britain and the Empire as a whole, more important 
and more pressing than anything they can hope to do in the next 
Parliament for Ireland. Mr. Birrell, who, as President of the National 
Liberal Federation, speaks with authority, has been almost as emphatic 
in proclaiming this truth as Lord Rosebery himself. The misfortune 
is that there are still many Liberals who, if they could, would revive 
the ten-year-old shibboleth, and seek to burden themselves with it, 
to the detriment of their party and their cause. For those who feel 
so strongly on this subject that they insist upon being Home Rulers 
and nothing else, one can only feel sincere respect, even though their 
worldly wisdom may not be very obvious. But the Home Rule cry 
has other supporters, who regard it as being not so much the embodi- 
ment of a sacred principle as an instrument for electioneering pur- 
poses. They believe but faintly in the possibility of securing a 
Liberal majority in the next Parliament without the help of the 
Irish, and it is their desire to secure the Irish vote that makes them 
stick to Home Rule. Naturally, they are furious against Lord Rose- 
bery for his distinct refusal to countenance the idea of an alliance 
between British Liberals and Irish Nationalists, or the formation of a 
Ministry which would depend for its existence upon the support of 
the latter. This, as I have said, is the crux of the question with 
which the Liberal leaders and the Liberal party have now to deal. 
To me it seems that Lord Rosebery spoke both as a statesman and 

1904 LAST MONTH 157 

a patriot. It would be impossible for the Liberal party to do the 
work which now lies before it, work dealing more particularly with 
free trade, education, and licensing reform, if it could only carry out 
its policy by the aid of the Irish members ; whilst no position could 
be more intolerable or more humiliating for any English Ministry 
than that of having to rely upon an Irish alliance, unless it were in 
& Parliament elected ad hoc for the purpose of dealing with the Irish 
question. All this is so obvious that it seems to be a truism, and 
yet it is a truism upon which depends the future of Liberalism in the 
next House of Commons. To play with the question in any way, or 
to try to evade it by means of soothing commonplaces which deceive 
nobody, would be to betray the interests not merely of the party, but 
of the country. The greatest misfortune that could happen to the 
nation as the result of the next General Election would be a condi- 
tion of things in which the Irish members would hold the balance of 
power. Lord Rosebery's purpose at the Queen's Hall was to point to 
the existence of this danger, and to warn his fellow Liberals against 
those who would lightly expose themselves to it. He deserves the 
thanks not only of Liberals but of the whole country for the courage 
with which he has spoken the truth on a delicate and serious question, 
without stopping to consider the misconceptions to which such plain- 
speaking was certain to subject him. 

The Prime Minister referred at least once during last month to 
the alleged lists ' alternative lists,' I think he called them of the 
next Administration which are popularly supposed to be enshrined 
in the cabinets of certain prominent members of the Opposition. 
Personally, I know nothing even as to the existence of these lists ; 
but I do know that a great many people believe that they are actually 
in being, and they undoubtedly form a topic which seems to interest 
all classes of politicians. The forming of imaginary Cabinets is always 
a fascinating amusement, especially to those who are not too far off 
the sacred circle to feel a personal interest in the game. But in the 
case of the next Liberal Government so much depends upon the choice 
of Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary that, until the allotment of 
these posts has been definitely settled, no good can be done by specula- 
tion as to minor appointments. That there are alternative Govern- 
ments ready to step into the shoes of Mr. Balfour and his colleagues 
in the present Ministry is certain ; and Liberals, at all events, believe 
universally that no new Government, whatever might be its general 
character, could possibly be worse than the present one, or could 
blunder so conspicuously and so constantly as the oft-transformed 
Cabinet of 1895 has done. But what is to be the special brand of 
Liberalism that the next Ministry will represent ? There are writers 
in the Press and a few speakers on the platform who insist that it 
must be openly and strenuously anti-Imperialist in tone, and must 
renounce not only the jingoism of the khaki days, but the ' sane 


Imperialism ' of the Liberal League. There are others who hold that 
even the least infusion of the ' Little England ' spirit into the new 
Government would certainly discredit it, and probably bring about 
its destruction well within the brief term of life which Mr. Chamber- 
lain and his friends have assigned to it. The truth, of course, lies 
between these two extremes. The policy of ostracism for which a few 
extreme Radical writers, possessed of greater fluency than influence, 
are always clamouring, is one that under present conditions the Liberal 
party is certainly not in a position to adopt. The next Ministry will 
contain the representatives of all the sections into which the Opposition 
has been split during its long years of wandering in the wilderness. 
But its predominating character can only be decided when it is known 
who is to be at its head, who is to hold the Foreign Secretaryship, and 
what is to be its attitude towards the Irish question. Until these 
points have been settled and they can hardly be settled before the 
General Election has taken place it is sheer waste of time to speculate 
on the contents of those mysterious lists to which Mr. Balfour referred. 
The only point that emerges clearly from the turbid sea of speculation 
is the fact that, upon whomsoever the duty of forming the next Liberal 
Administration may fall, there is no one who is likely to envy him 
his task. 

The question of the Army and the defensive forces of the country 
has been very much in men's minds during the month. The Report 
of the Royal Commission upon the Volunteers, with its rather crude 
conclusion in favour of conscription, startled everybody, and appar- 
ently was most startling to those who in the Press and in Parliament 
have long been dallying with the subject in an amateurish fashion. 
Seldom has a document of this importance been received with such 
general and outspoken condemnation. A couple of days sufficed to 
establish the fact that, at the present moment, the nation will not 
stand the idea of conscription at any price. The Report of the Com- 
mission was blown into the air by a gust of almost universal indignation, 
and Ministers made haste to declare that they had no intention of 
acting upon its proposals. If, as seems by no means improbable, the 
Report was in the nature of a ballon d'essai, sent up on behalf of the 
Ministry, it undoubtedly served its purpose, and for some time to 
come we are little likely to hear anything further on the subject of 
compulsory military service. But there are some who suggested 
from the first that, in procuring this declaration of opinion from the 
Royal Commission, Ministers were not so much trying to ascertain 
the true views of the public with regard to conscription, as seeking 
to furnish themselves with a weapon by means of which they could 
induce the House of Commons to accept fresh proposals of theirs on 
the subject of the Army. It is unfortunately evident that the present 
condition of the Army is deplorably bad. Between the havoc wrought 
by the war and the still greater mischief caused by Mr. Brodrick's 

1904 LAST MONTH 159 

alteration of the terms of enlistment, the ranks of our regiments are 
being quickly depleted, and it is impossible to find recruits to take 
the places of the men who insist upon returning to civil life. The 
subject is not one upon which I wish to dwell. Probably the less it 
is discussed in public the better. But it is known only too well that 
we are within a few months of a crisis in the history of our Army such 
as we have never had to face before. Ministers seem to have one 
remedy, and one only, for this deplorable state of things. It is the 
old remedy of increased expenditure. With the Report of the Volunteer 
Commission in their hands, they can go to Parliament and say, ' Here 
is a proposal for conscription ; but you will not even look at it ; that 
being the case you must face the only alternative, and provide sufficient 
money to enable us to compete successfully for our recruits in the open 
labour market.' Such, at least, is the explanation which some give of 
the origin of this very remarkable Report. 

But, in the meantime, what of that great scheme of War Office 
reform which was to give us the efficiency in military administration 
that we need so badly ? Everybody rejoiced at the business-like 
promptitude with which Mr. Arnold-Forster, after his installation in 
office, brought the Esher Committee into existence, and we rejoiced 
even more gladly when that body turned out its sweeping scheme of 
reforms with such unexampled celerity. But months have elapsed 
since the historic documents revolutionising our system of Army 
administration were given to the world ; it is even months since we 
were practically assured by the Secretary for War that the scheme 
had been adopted and was in process of being put in force. Where 
is it now ? Many wild rumours are current as to its fate, but they 
are not rumours that one need pause to examine here. One thing, 
however, has happened during the past month that is distinctly 
ominous. It was announced that on the 16th of May Mr. Arnold- 
Forster would take the House of Commons into his confidence, and 
make his eagerly-expected statement with regard to the position of 
his great scheme. The spirit of the reformers rose at this announce- 
ment, and the prophets of evil, who had been trading on the rumours, 
to which I have referred, were correspondingly depressed. But alas ! 
on the eve of the date mentioned the Prime Minister, in an apologetic 
statement worded so curiously that it could not have failed to create 
suspicion in the minds of those who heard it, intimated that a mistake 
had been made a mistake the sole responsibility for which rested 
with himself and that Mr. Arnold-Forster would not be in a position 
to make his promised speech on the day fixed. Then, indeed, did the 
flood of rumour that had been gathering so long burst all bounds ,, 
sweeping everything before it. Not merely the loss of the Esher- 
Clarke scheme, but even the downfall of the Ministry itself, were 
declared by the quidnuncs to be impending ; and tales of a prolonged 
fight within the Cabinet, waged with a desperate resolution worthy of 


General Kuroki himself, filled all mouths. Perhaps by the time that 
these lines appear in print the truth may have been made manifest. 
One hears many versions of it ; but it is no business of mine to purvey 
the gossip of the clubs. For the present I am content to note the 
fact that as last month drew to a close the hopes both of Army reformers 
and of economists seemed to sink to the lowest point at which they 
had stood since Mr. Brodrick retired from his throne of thorns in Pall 

Parliament has been engaged during the month with the Licensing 
Bill, and other measures for the most part of secondary importance. 
On the Licensing Bill, Ministers have so far held their own, and have 
successfully resisted even the attempt, strongly supported on their 
own side of the House, to induce them to impose a time limit on their 
measure for conferring a practical endowment on the publicans. But 
their success in the House of Commons has not followed them into the 
country, where public opinion is steadily growing more hostile to the 
Bill. The bishops and clergymen of the Church of England have 
come forward to protest against it, and popular demonstrations for 
the purpose of denouncing it have been held in many of the large 
towns throughout England. The demonstrations may not in them- 
selves be immediately operative ; but they undoubtedly swell the tide 
of resentment against the Government which is growing so steadily in 
all quarters. More important, perhaps, than any individual measure 
dealt with during the month is the movement within the House of 
Commons which has been caused by the systematic attempt of certain 
members to deprive the House of its liberty of action, in the interests 
of particular parties. Debate, on a motion for the adjournment of 
the House, is not, under the rules, permitted on any question with 
respect to which a notice of motion is standing on the paper. In itself 
there are doubtless good reasons for this rule, but it is deliberately 
abused by members who put down what can only be called sham 
notices of motion for the purpose of preventing any real debate upon 
the questions with which their notices deal. It seems intolerable 
that the freedom of Parliament should be curtailed in this matter by 
the hacks of parties or the advertisers of their own names. The Prime 
Minister has undertaken, at the request of Sir Henry Campbell-Banner- 
man, to consider how this scandal may be dealt with. Public respect 
for the House of Commons will hardly be increased if it should prove 
to be powerless to protect itself from this gross infringement of its 

The 'Dundonald incident,' as it has been called, is one of the 
least pleasant features of the history of the month. The Earl of 
Dundonald, a soldier of brilliant reputation, was appointed, after the 
South African War, General in command of the Canadian Militia. 
Recently, in that capacity, he nominated certain persons for com- 
missions in one of the regiments of militia. One at least of these 

1904 LAST MONTH 161 

nominations was rejected by Mr. Fisher, Minister of Agriculture, to 
whom the matter was referred by the Minister to whose department 
questions connected with the national defence belong. Lord Dun- 
donald thought he had reason to believe that Mr. Fisher acted from 
motives connected with party politics, and he made a speech on the 
subject at a public gathering, in which he protested strongly against 
the intrusion of politics into matters of military discipline. There is 
no doubt that he committed an indiscretion in taking this action, and 
that he showed his failure to appreciate the constitutional laws by 
which he, in common with other persons, must be content to be 
governed. But his indiscretion was not treated generously or even 
leniently by the Dominion Government, whilst Sir Wilfrid Laurier's 
reference to this distinguished British soldier as a ' foreigner ' an 
indiscretion, it is true, immediately repented of leaves a very bad 
taste in the mouth. The incident ought to be a lesson to the poli- 
ticians who, ignoring the advice of the wise men of the past, are anxious 
to anticipate the work of time in cementing a closer relationship 
between the Mother Country and the Colonies. Of other incidents 
of the month, two which must be noticed in this chronicle are the 
assassination of General BobrikofT, the Governor-General of Finland, 
by an official of the Finnish Administration who afterwards committed 
suicide, and the terrible fire on a pleasure-boat in East River, New 
York, by which some 900 lives, chiefly those of children, were lost. 
So far as the tragedy at Helsingfors is concerned, public opinion in 
this country seems to be divided between our righteous abhorrence 
of assassination as a weapon in political warfare, and our indignation 
at the harsh and arbitrary way in which the Government at St. Peters- 
burg has for years past been engaged in the attempt to substitute 
autocratic rule for the once free constitution of Finland. 

The war between Russia and Japan has undergone a great develop- 
ment during the month, and has now attained proportions which 
irresistibly recall the mighty conflict of 1870. With one exception, all 
the events of the month have been unfavourable to the arms of Russia. 
This exception is the successful raid of the Vladivostok fleet into 
Japanese waters, where the swift Russian cruisers were able to inflict 
serious damage upon a fleet of the enemy's transports. The loss of 
life was great, and the interruption to the Japanese operations has 
been considerable. The Russian vessels were exceptionally fortunate 
in being able to evade the Japanese squadron, and to return to Vladi- 
vostok in safety. But though the Russians have been naturally 
cheered by this, their first successful operation during the war, the 
record of the month has been, in all other respects, uniformly adverse 
to them. The investment of Port Arthur was completed on the 
4th of June, and the Japanese armies began at once to move north- 
wards in the direction of Mukden. A desperate attempt was made 
by General Kuropatkin, at the urgent instigation of the authorities in 

VOL. LVI No. 329 M 


St. Petersburg, to send a relieving force to Port Arthur. The result 
has been at least one pitched battle, and a series of sanguinary engage- 
ments. The pitched battle resulted in the complete defeat of the 
Russians, with \ a loss that has been estimated at as high a figure as 
10,000, and that probably does not fall far short of that number. 
Since then there have been rumours of another engagement scarcely 
less disastrous to the armies of the Czar, and the position of the corps 
which made the abortive attempt to relieve Port Arthur is extremely 
precarious. Not merely in scientific strategy, but in power of endur- 
ance on the field of battle, the Japanese continue to manifest their 
superiority to their foe, whose unquestionable valour seems of little 
avail against the desperate courage and better generalship of the 
enemy he has to face. General Kuropatkin is apparently being rein- 
forced as rapidly as possible, but the Russian position in Manchuria 
is not more hopeful than it was, and we seem to be on the eve of 
grave, possibly even of decisive, events. 




* As far as possible all actions of the Chinese Government are regu- 
lated by precedents reaching back thousands of years, and a board 
of the highest officials have to watch that all edicts and proclamations 
conform in style, spirit, and substance with the ancient dynastic 
regulations and Confucian precepts.' Only the other day I read 
this sentence in an able article about the Yellow Peril, published last 
month in this Review. In common with most of my brother publicists 
my mind, such as it is, has been of late so much occupied with the 
fiscal controversy that whatever I am reading I find myself reverting 
to Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League. My first impression on 
reading this passage was that by some printer's error the words China 
and Confucius had been substituted for England and Cobden. A 
second perusal dispelled this illusion ; but, as I read on, I learnt that 
the writer of the article in question attributed the decay of the Celes- 
tial Empire to the persistency with which the Chinese direct their 
policy, and regulate their action, in accordance, not with the condi- 
tions of the present day, but with theories laid down and promulgated 
by teachers in the bygone past. A subsequent study of the speeches 
delivered by the pundits of Liberalism on the occasion of the centenary 
of Cobden's birth has caused me to feel deep anxiety about the extent 
to which the Liberal party are adopting similar principles of govern- 
ment to those which commend themselves to the collective wisdom of 
China. Like causes produce like results ; and if, as I am daily assured, 
the control of the British Empire is about to pass into the hands of a 
party whose one article of faith is the infallibility of Cobden, I can 
only come to the conclusion that sooner or later Great Britain must 
incur the fate which has befallen the nation whose faith is pinned to 
the omniscience of Confucius. The French have a proverb that 
' so long as you live, you have got to live with the living, not with 
the dead,' and the truth conveyed in this proverb is violated by any 
country which refuses to deal with the present and adheres to the past. 
In order to show how far the Cobdeniat and the Confucian evangels 

163 M 2 


resemble each other it may be well to quote a few flowers of rhetoric 
culled from the adulatory speeches of the leaders of the Liberal party 
during last month's commemoration of the centenary of Cobden's birth. 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman gave the note of the Cobden 
demonstration by calling on his audience at the Alexandra Palace 
* to declare their adherence to the doctrines which Cobden taught and 
their determination that the power of these doctrines should not,. 
God helping them, be impaired.' In respect of Cobden Sir Henry 
seems to be what it is the fashion of the Liberals of to-day to call a 
' whole hogger.' He not only pins his salvation to the faith of Free 
Trade as expounded by the some time member for Stockport, but he 
swallows without flinching the peace dogmas of which his guide, 
philosopher, and friend was the exponent. He informs us that 
' Cobden's belief in Free Trade was not a mere isolated doctrine 
standing forlornly by itself ; it was part, and an essential part, of his 
general outlook on the world. He saw the nations separated by 
their selfishness and their suspicions ; he saw that militarism and 
protection went hand in hand.' Even Sir Henry's enthusiasm could 
not quite blind him to the fact that, though England under Cobden's 
advice had adopted Free Trade for the last sixty years, militarism 
has increased instead of declining. In order to meet this obvious 
objection he informs his listeners that ' they were to assert, not with 
bated breath, but in confident tones and in accents of triumph, that 
Cobden's dream was no illusion, and that the strength of the country 
depended not upon war equipment, not upon fleets and armies, but 
upon peace equipment.' In plain language, the policy, in virtue of 
which the eulogist of Cobden's foresight (the Minister of War under 
the last Liberal administration and the nominal leader of the Liberal 
party) proposes to secure to England the blessing of peace, is to reduce 
our armaments, to leave our shores and harbours unprotected, on the 
strength of his own conviction that Cobden was no dreamer of dreams, 
but was right in his theories, however facts may have gone against 
their realisation. Sir Henry's pompous eulogies were supported by a 
claptrap speech of Mr. Winston Churchill, who ignored Cobden, except 
as far as he dwelt upon the importance to Free Trade of his own con- 
version to Cobdenian orthodoxy, and wound up with a stirring perora- 
tion, in which he described the Unionists, whom he had just deserted, 
as ' a capitalist party, the mere washpot of plutocracy, the engine of 
the tariff and the trust, a hard confederation of interest and monopoly 
banded together to corrupt and to plunder the Commonwealth.' 

At Birmingham Mr. Morley had the good sense to admit that the 
sudden desire exhibited by the Liberals to resuscitate the somewhat 
faded memory of Cobden was ' not a purely ceremonial tribute to a 
great public servant.' He had the good taste also to avoid any 
personal attack on the member for West Birmingham. With a total 
disregard, however, of historical proportion he poured forth his gall upon 

1904 LAST MONTH 165 

Prince Bismarck, and described the statesman who created a United 
Germany as being a far less important personage than the politician 
who founded the Anti-Corn Law League. ' What,' he asked the 
operatives of Birmingham, ' was the use of stirring the people to-day 
with German professors or economics of the moon ? ' No answer 
being forthcoming to this inquiry, he proceeded to state ' that the 
German nation had lost all confidence whatever, if they ever had any, 
in these economics of the moon, which Prince Bismarck planted on 
them twenty-five years ago.' In confirmation of his assertion that 
Cobden's prophecies, however they had been discredited by the course 
of events, must and would come out right in the end, he repeated a 
remark made, or said to have been made, by Lord Melbourne three- 
score years ago to the effect that ' it is madness to think you can ever 
repeal the Corn Laws.' I should have thought myself that, as the 
Corn Laws were repealed a few years later, this saying was a proof of 
the folly of making prophecies as to the durability of any policy or 
institution. Everything changes ; and yet Mr. Morley makes a 
strong demand upon the credulity of his fellow countrymen when he 
asks them to believe that the policy of Free Trade is the only thing 
immutable in a world of change. In like fashion Sir Robert Giffen 
informed the electorate of Hayward's Heath that ' no one can deny 
the past . . . and that Cobden's work in the matter of commercial 
policy was for all time.' At Carlisle the same dogma was affirmed by 
Sir Robert Reid when he stated that ' the lessons which Cobden 
taught our fathers were not lessons merely of passing value ; they 
were founded on principles which were true for all time.' Freedom of 
trade was declared by the Solicitor-General of the last Liberal Govern- 
ment to occupy the first place in the category of ' things upon which 
the true stability of this country depended.' To speak the plain 
truth, the centenary celebration of Cobden's nativity was a happy 
thought devised by the guiding spirits of the Liberal party in order 
to discredit the cause of Tariff reform under the pretence of com- 
memorating the public services of a well-nigh forgotten politician. 
The more indiscriminate and the more exaggerated were the eulogies 
showered upon Cobden and his policy, the more obvious was the 
inference that Mr. Chamberlain was not deserving of public support. 
If once it could be accepted as an article of faith that the authority of 
Cobden in matters of trade must be accepted as final and conclusive, 
it follows logically that there is no necessity even to consider the 
arguments which prove, or try to prove, that a system of trade which 
may have been beneficial to the community sixty years ago has, 
owing to altered conditions, become prejudicial in the present year of 
grace. When in the heyday of the Papacy the Sacred College closed 
any controversy by the formula, ' Roma locuta est,' there was no more 
to be said. In like fashion our latter-day Liberals seem to think that, 
as the theories of Cobden are to dictate the commercial policy of this 


country for all time, there is an end of all further discussion about 
Tariff reform. 

I doubt, however, whether these tactics will meet with the success 
deserved by their ingenuity. There is great truth in the old saying 
that a live dog is better than a dead lion. Without admitting that 
canine or leonine characteristics can fairly be attributed to Cobden 
or to Chamberlain, it is certain that the latter is very much alive, 
and that the former is not only dead himself, but belongs to a dead 
past. When the constituencies are called upon to vote, one speech 
of Mr. Chamberlain's will exercise a greater influence on public senti- 
ment than a score of eulogies on Cobden's sendees in having brought 
about the repeal of the Corn Laws. There was little or nothing about 
Cobden to appeal to popular imagination. He was a kindly, worthy 
man, honourable, both in his public and private life ; an energetic 
organiser of political agitation ; an excellent expositor of other men's 
ideas ; an earnest worker on behalf of any cause he espoused, though 
his earnestness owed more than half its effect to his inability to realise 
that there are always two sides to every question. Of genius he had 
not a touch. The accident of fortune associated his name with the 
Anti-Corn Law crusade, but in reality Adam Smith, Sir Robert Peel, 
John Bright, George Thompson, and Charles Villiers played equally 
important parts in the establishment of Free Trade as the basis of 
our fiscal policy. This policy, I would add, owed its success far more 
to the Irish famine than to the efforts of any individual, however 
meritorious. Even the high literary ability and the charm of style 
possessed by my friend John Morley proved insufficient to make the 
Life of Richard Cobden interesting to the general reader. To sum up, 
Cobden's is not a name to conjure with, and I believe before many 
months are over the truth of this opinion will be made manifest in a 
way to which even the Cobden Club will be unable to shut their eyes. 

The sentence with which I commence this article reminds me 
of another instance in which the example of China seems to have 
commended itself to the approval of our Liberal mandarins. I am 
informed by persons well acquainted with the Celestial Kingdom that 
though the Chinaman under intelligent discipline will make an effi- 
cient soldier, any real reorganisation of China as a military Power 
is rendered impossible by the extraordinary respect and reverence 
entertained for education by all classes in the Empire. From the 
days of Confucius the literati amongst his fellow countrymen have 
been taught to believe that war is an occupation unworthy of a rational 
human being, that the study of killing is one which could not be 
pursued without loss of self-respect, and that proficients in the degrad- 
ing art of war are not fit to associate with men who have earned dis- 
tinction and fortune by passing successful examinations. This teaching 
has so impressed itself upon the Chinese mind that no man of any 
social position or standing will ever consent willingly to enter the army 

1904 LAST MONTH 167 

as a profession. To become an officer is to lose caste, to bring disgrace 
upon your relatives and even your ancestors. The result is that the 
offieers of the Celestial army are to-day, and have been for centuries, 
men of no character, who have enlisted in order to save themselves 
from destitution, and whose sole ambition is to add to their inadequate 
pay by corruption and peculation. It would be absurd to say that a 
similar danger threatens the military power of England. The fighting 
instincts of our race are happily too strong to allow of our ever learning, 
as a nation, to look with contempt on the trade of soldiering. Our 
robust common-sense leads us to recognise the absurdity of the saying, 
o fashionable in the ' forty years of peace ' era, that the pen is stronger 
than the sword, or to believe that courts of arbitration will ever remove 
the necessity for standing armies. Still, it is impossible for any 
impartial observer to be blind to the fact that the tendency of the 
English Liberals, as a party, is to decry militarism, to deprecate 
Imperialism, to spread abroad the conviction that the first duty of 
English statesmanship is to occupy itself with domestic reforms, and 
to remove social abuses rather than to provide for the safety of Great 
Britain and the British Empire. When war is described as con- 
sisting, to use Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman's phrase, in ' methods 
of barbarism,' when the mere suggestion of a resort to conscription is 
denounced by the organs of Liberalism as being an outrage upon the 
working population of the United Kingdom, it is impossible to avoid 
the conclusion that the party which associates itself with the traditions 
of Cobden is treading in the footsteps of Confucius. I do not dispute 
the genuineness of Cobden's convictions. What I object to is the 
assumption that these convictions were the result of deep study or of 
any profound insight into human nature. The basis of his fiscal 
policy was that it would be for the good of humanity if every nation 
devoted itself to the cultivation of those products it was best fitted 
to produce by its natural conditions. According to his theory England, 
which, in virtue of her possession of coal and iron, was then the chief, 
almost the sole manufacturing Power in the world, was to make herself 
the workshop of the globe and to retain her monopoly of production 
by throwing open her markets to all countries who in return would 
supply her with bread stuffs. 

Owing to Cobden's utter inability to comprehend the force of 
nationality he failed to perceive that other nations were not prepared 
to forego the advantage of having factories and workshops of their 
own in consideration of gaining a higher profit on their agricultural 
exports. The result was that his scheme ended in signal failure. The 
poliey of open markets propounded by the Anti-Corn Law League, 
instead of converting other nations to Free Trade, caused them, 
without exception, to adopt the system of Protection, under which 
they have developed manufactures of their own capable of under- 
selling the manufactures of England in her home markets. In like 


fashion Cobden was unable to comprehend that cheap food would not 
prove a sufficient boon to induce British workmen to forego the prospect 
of earning higher wages by forming trade unions, whose reason of being 
is to raise the profits of the workman at the cost of his employer. 
Throughout his public career Cobden never concealed his want of 
sympathy with the attempts made by working men to better their 
condition through co-operation. Whether his views on this point were 
right or wrong is not the question under consideration. My only 
reason for alluding to the subject is to show how little he understood 
the nature of the British working classes if he believed that to them 
cheap bread was the one thing needful. If proof were needed of the 
weakness of the Liberal party it would be found in the fact that they 
have attempted to win over the working class electorate by recalling 
the memory of Cobden as that of an authority which outweighs any 
possible argument in favour of tariff reform. If they are again to regard 
the cheap loaf as their in hoc signo vinces they will not be long in find- 
ing out their mistake. I should, therefore, recommend them to study 
the example of the Chinese in simply reciting the greatness of Confucius 
without giving reasons for their belief. I learn that the following 
eulogy of the sage is one still popular in the Celestial Empire : 

Confucius ! Confucius ! How great was Confucius ! 

Before him there was no Confucius ; 

Since him there has been no other. 

Confucius 1 Confucius ! How great was Confucius ! 

I venture to suggest that if for Confucius the celebrators of the 
recent centenary had substituted the name of Cobden, and had recited 
a like stanza at their demonstrations, they would have saved them- 
selves an unnecessary outpour of words and have done more to impress 
upon their audiences the claim of their hero to be regarded as a man 
whose wisdom was above discussion. If for the sake of euphony they 
should Latinise the name of Cobden and call him Cobdenius, the 
change would improve the euphony of the stanza, without detracting 
from its intrinsic value. 

In connection with this subject I trust I may be permitted to 
say a few words as to certain strictures on the present writer which 
have recently been made by Lord Avebury in his treatise on Free Trade, 
and which have been reproduced with warm approval in the Spectator. 
There is nothing in those strictures of which I have any cause to com- 
plain, except that they are utterly irrelevant to the question at issue. 
I do not profess to be an authority on questions of political economy. 
All I claim is to be an authority, though on a small and humble scale, 
on questions of common-sense. I am not sufficiently conversant 
with trade matters to decide between the merits or demerits of Free 
Trade as a working system. All I contend is that Free Trade is not 
a dogma which cannot be called in question ; and that the issue 

1904 LAST MONTH 169 

between restricted and unrestricted competition must as a matter 
of right, as well as of fact, be ultimately decided by the voice of the 
country, not by that of its self -constituted pedagogues. In support 
of this contention I have dared to point out that Cobden, whatever 
may be the value of his opinions enunciated threescore years ago, is 
not entitled to credit as a prophet. I am asked by Lord Avebury 
to recant my words and to acknowledge Cobden' s claim to prophetic 
wisdom because he foresaw that Free Trade would be good for England. 
To put forward this statement as self-evident is to beg the question, 
a mode of argument unworthy even of the Cobden Club. Lord 
Avebury proceeds to dispute another statement of mine made also in 
these pages, that ' the opinion of the " civilised world," about which 
we used to hear so much during the Boer war, is dead against Free 
Trade.' His Lordship admits that ' in practice, no doubt, most 
countries are Protectionist.' He retorts with a tu quoque remark that 
I am not justified in making this statement, because I attached no 
value to the opinion of the civilised world concerning the Boer war. 
The fallacy of this retort is too obvious to be overlooked even by 
Macaulay's typical schoolboy. Let me say in passing from this 
subject that Lord Avebury's treatise on Free Trade is free from the 
personal vituperations of Mr. Chamberlain which, as a rule, discredit 
the utterances of the Unionist Free Fooders. 

I note one feature in the speech delivered last month by Lord 
Rosebery at the Liberal League for which I must express my sincere 
gratitude. I do not find a single reference to Cobden or his centenary 
contained therein. The omission, I think, can best be accounted for 
by the supposition that his Lordship is alive to the fact that nowadays 
the name of Cobden is not a trump card even in the Liberal pack, and 
that if the Liberals hope to win the day at the next general election 
the less they say about the Anti-Corn Law League the better for their 
prospects of success. The Liberal League was, if my memory serves me 
rightly, founded during the war by a small section of the Opposition 
who were unable to join the hostility of the Liberals to the Boer war. 
and who were anxious to dissociate themselves from the Anti-Imperialist 
policy espoused by their Radical colleagues. Having formed the 
league, and having thereby recorded their protest against being 
described as Pro-Boers and Little Englanders, they felt under no 
obligation to take any further steps to convert their fellow Liberals 
to sounder views of policy. They considered themselves to be the 
elite of Liberalism ; and they were convinced the presence in their 
ranks of Lord Rosebery would suffice, to quote his own words, ' to 
rescue and differentiate sane Imperialism from shoddy Imperialism.' 
Having thus vindicated the orthodoxy of the League in Imperial 
matters, the ex-Premier proceeded to declare that ' in no case he was 
aware of, and on no occasion, has loyalty to the Liberal League con- 
flicted in the slightest degree with loyalty to the leaders and the policy 


of the Opposition.' In other words, the Liberal League supports 
Imperialism in the abstract, but declines to support it in the concrete. 
Such an attitude undoubtedly avoids the necessity of taking any 
action which might commit the League definitely to the cause even of 
sane Imperialism. Nothing can be more comprehensive than Lord 
Rosebery's statement of the terms on which outsiders can obtain 
admission to the League. ' You ' (the Liberal Leaguers) ' want 
everybody that you can rally to your standard Liberal Leaguers 
or official Liberals, or the various other leagues that exist, and besides 
those let me say that you require, when you can secure them on any- 
thing like fair terms, all the support of those Tories who have fought 
for Free Trade under circumstances so difficult and dangerous to 
themselves.' We know what the standard is under which Liberals of 
all sorts are invited to enlist ; we need no telling that the object of the 
campaign is to turn out the Government and to place the Liberals in 
office. But as for what ends and for what purposes their tenure of 
office is to be employed is a matter concerning which we are left in 
utter ignorance. We are furnished instead, by Lord Rosebery, with 
a series of prolix platitudes. We are assured that efficiency is to be 
the dominant feature of the coming Liberal Administration ; that oppor- 
tunism will not be excluded from consideration, and that ' Liberalism 
is no particular measure, but it is the frame and spirit of mind in which 
we approach great political questions. . . . Liberalism is the readiness 
to accept and to assimilate the best ideas of the time, and to apply 
them honestly in action.' As to this definition of Liberalism, I need 
only remark that it is a repetition of the stock phrases by which every 
Ministry, Whig or Tory, Liberal or Conservative, Unionist or anti- 
Unionist, has heralded its accession to office. If the end and aim of 
the Liberal League is to furnish Lord Rosebery with an opportunity for 
uttering commonplace truisms in a graceful manner there is no more 
to be said, except that his Lordship has an unlimited flow of words, 
and that his followers have a still more unlimited store of patience. 
If, however, I am rightly informed, the real reason which justifies the 
existence of the Liberal League is the necessity of not allowing Lord 
Rosebery's claims to the next Liberal Premiership to drop out of 
sight. The League is, in fact, an agency for the advancement of 
Lord Rosebery's candidature in the event of the Premiership being 
thrown open to competition. Fortunately, perhaps, from a Con- 
servative point of view,Tiis Lordship has an invincible repugnance to 
putting himself forward as the leader of his party. He is eager to 
secure the apples of office, but he insists that the apples should fall 
into his mouth, and even declines to take any part in shaking the apple 
tree. This is the explanation of the revival of the Liberal League. 
The muster-roll has been called. Sir Edward Grey, Sir Henry Fowler, 
Mr. Asquith, Mr. Haldane, and some sixteen members of Parliament 
have responded to the call, and the Radical section of the Opposition 

1904 LAST MONTH 171 

have been given to understand that if they want to see a Liberal 
administration in office they can only do so on condition that they are 
willing to accept Lord Rosebery as the future Premier. If we are to 
have a Liberal Ministry in office after the General Election I should 
prefer either Lord Rosebery or any of his squires to Sir Henry Camp- 
bell-Bannerman. But at the best the choice between a Rosebery or a 
Campbell-Bannerman Ministry would only be a choice of evils. For 
my own part I distrust the good faith or the sagacity of a statesman 
who, while he acknowledges that the support of the Irish Nationalists 
is essential to the maintenance of the Liberal party in office, seriously 
informs his personal supporters that the policy of a Liberal administra- 
tion with respect to Home Rule will not be affected by the necessity 
of conciliating the Home Rule vote. Hitherto, whenever any criticism 
has been made as to the qualifications of the various politicians who 
are destined in their own opinion, and in that of their followers, to 
occupy prominent positions in the Ministry which is to replace the 
Unionist Government, the critics were met with one stock rejoinder. 
If we doubted the special fitness of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman to 
become once more Secretary of State for War ; if we were not con- 
fident as to Mr. Asquith being competent to discharge the duties of 
the leader of the House of Commons ; if we ventured to suggest that 
Mr. Lloyd George might cut a sorry figure as a Cabinet Minister, or if 
we raised some other equally frivolous objection, we were told that at 
all events Lord Rosebery was pointed out by the consensus of public 
opinion as the ideal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Even 
this consolation is no longer forthcoming. The ex-Premier went out 
of his way, while expatiating to the Liberal League upon the imminence 
of a great Liberal reaction, to denounce the Anglo-French compact by 
saying that ' no more one-sided agreement was ever concluded between 
two Powers at peace with each other.' In order to leave no doubt in 
the minds of the Liberal Leaguers as to which side had had the worst 
of the bargain, his Lordship proceeded to drive home his assertions by 
remarking : ' I hope and trust, but I hope and trust rather than I 
believe, that the Power which holds Gibraltar may never have cause to 
regret having handed Morocco over to a great military Power.' Now, 
if words have any meaning, these words mean that France purports 
to employ the free hand we have accorded to her in dealing with 
Morocco to deprive us of our naval supremacy in the Mediterranean. 
Even if this insinuation were based upon any serious foundation there 
was no possible good to be gained by throwing doubt on the good 
faith of France, and the very last man in the whole of the United 
Kingdom who could have been justified in making such an aspersion 
is the predecessor of Mr. Balfour in the Premiership and of Lord 
Lansdowne at the Foreign Office. Both as Prime Minister and as 
Foreign Secretary Lord Rosebery must have had ample opportunities 
of observing how seriously England was hampered in consolidating 


her authority in Egypt by the constant hostility of France. Yet, 
knowing what he does, he has deliberately striven in his address to the 
Liberal League to depreciate the advantages England derives from 
having France with her, instead of against her, in her administration 
of Egyptian affairs. Since his retirement from office his Lordship has 
lost no opportunity of dilating on the arduousness of his labours in 
Downing Street. Possibly, if he had worked fewer hours and indited 
fewer despatches, he might have acquired a better knowledge of foreign 
affairs than he now seems to possess. The only explanation of the 
extraordinary indiscretion thus committed by Lord Rosebery is that 
he was led astray by his desire to disparage an agreement which he is 
shrewd enough to see has done much to influence popular opinion in 
favour of the Government under whose control a cordial understanding 
has been established between France and England . So long, however, as 
he could at last convey the impression how much better a bargain he 
could have made for this country, supposing he had been in command at 
Downing Street, he was apparently indifferent to minor considerations. 
Such at least is the best excuse I can suggest for a speech that never 
ought to have been spoken, and above all not by the speaker who 
gave it utterance. 

Somehow or other neither the resuscitation of Cobden nor the re- 
appearance of Lord Rosebery as a candidate for the Premiership 
seems to have got matters much forwarder in our home politics. The 
Opposition appears for the time to have lost heart, while the Ministry 
are sanguine as to their retention of power till after the close of the 
Session, and of their being able before Parliament is prorogued to show 
a satisfactory record of legislation. Personally I attribute the lull of 
public interest in political controversies to the fact that the fortunes 
of the war now waging in the Far East monopolise popular attention. 
The more protracted the war seems likely to become the more men's 
thoughts are turned to the effect the campaign, whichever way it may 
end, must necessarily produce on the fortunes of all non-belligerent 
States, and especially of the British Empire. 

The war in the Far East seems to me likely, in the near future, to 
bring about indirect results of far graver importance than its direct 
effects on the fortunes of the two belligerents. Even if Russia, as 
now seems daily less probable, should come out victorious from the 
conflict the world will be confronted with the hard fact that an Oriental 
nation, with a code of religion and morality utterly different from, if 
not antagonistic to, our European ideas, has attained a standard 
of patriotic altruism far exceeding any ideal attained before or 
even conceived as possible in this old world of ours. 


The Editor of THE NINETEENTH CENTURY cannot undertake 
to return unaccepted MSS. 







AMOXG other questions raised by an article from the pen of Sir John 
Macdonell, in this Review for July, on ' The Present War,' there is 
one on which I should like to offer some observations from a Japanese 
point of view. 

Sir John Macdonell appears to think that our attack came to 
Russia as a surprise, and was therefore unjustifiable ; and whilst he 
makes reservations on account of his lack of accurate information 
concerning the actual state of affairs at the commencement of the 
war, he proceeds to argue that it was a nice point whether the negotia- 
tions had or had not, on the 8th or 9th of February last, reached a 
stage at which discussion had really been abandoned, and both sides 
had resolved to accept the arbitrament of battle. Sir John seems to 
consider that notice should be given to an adversary, before beginning a 
war, that hostilities have become inevitable. 

I will not say anything about the fact that the first shot was fired 
by the Russians on the Japanese vessels at Schimulpo ; nor is it ray 

VOL. LVI No. 330 N 


intention to enter upon any justification of Japan's course of action 
on the common theory of international law, or on the basis of the 
prevailing practice in such cases, or it could be shown that a formal 
declaration is not needed to constitute a state of war. On the con- 
trary, I rather appreciate Sir John's contention that no blows should 
be struck without adequate warning, or while diplomatists are still 
debating the matters in dispute. And it is my desire to prove that 
Japan, far from taking her enemy unawares, did actually do precisely 
as Sir John Macdonell is anxious to show she ought to have done, and 
that, in the sense of his comment on the operations, there was no 
room for the Russians to be surprised in any degree whatever. 

I will first endeavour to demonstrate the truth of this proposition 
by recalling the successive stages of those negotiations which cul- 
minated in hostilities ; but it is unnecessary to dwell upon the earlier 
part of the diplomatic correspondence, nor is it worth while to enlarge 
either on the flagrant neglect of Russia to fulfil her own pledges, or 
on the persistency with which she sought to (the expression may be 
pardoned, since there is no other term that applies equally well) make 
a fool of Japan throughout the protracted negotiations. It may 
suffice to point out that, from the very nature of those negotiations, 
any failure to arrive at a satisfactory understanding was tantamount 
to an admission that war was inevitable. 

The most acute phase was reached in November 1903, as was 
plainly indicated in the telegram despatched on the 21st of that month 
to Mr. Kurino, the Japanese Minister at St. Petersburg, by Baron 
Komura, Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Government of Tokio, in 
which the following passage occurs : 

Baron Bosen added that he had not yet received any instructions on the 
subject of the counter-proposals, consequently you are instructed to see Count 
Lamsdorff as soon as possible, and after explaining to him Baron Eosen's state- 
ments, as above, you will say that the Japanese Government are anxious to 
proceed with the negotiations with all possible expedition, and you will urge 
him to exert his influence to secure the early despatch of instructions to Baron 
Bosen, in order that negotiations may be resumed and concluded without delay. 

This view was, of course, communicated to the Russian Foreign 
Minister, and after further futile endeavours on Japan's part to elicit 
an early reply. Baron Kornura telegraphed to Mr. Kurino on the 
1st of December 1903, again urging the importance of a speedy solution 
of the question at issue, in yet more plain-spoken fashion ; and he 
wound up his despatch thus : 

In these circumstances the Japanese Government cannot but regard with 
grave concern the situation, for which the delays in the negotiations are largely 
responsible. You are instructed to see Count Lamsdorff as soon as possible, and 
place the foregoing considerations before him in such form and manner as to 
make your representations as impressive as possible. You will add that the 
Japanese Government believe they are rendering a service to the general 
interest in thus frankly explaining to the Bussian Government the actual state 
of things. 


When Mr. Kurino made these representations, which could scarcely 
have been more explicit, to Count Lamsdorff, the Russian Minister 
said that ' he would fully explain the urgency of the matter on the 
occasion of his audience on the following Tuesday ' ; but things in 
reality were made to drag on, and the Russian preference for the 
game of diplomatic seesaw was exemplified to the full, until at last, 
on the 23rd of December, when three whole weeks had been frittered 
away, Mr. Kurino, reporting to Baron Komura an interview which 
he had just had with Count Lamsdorff, thus ended his despatch : 

In conclusion, I stated to him that under the circumstances it might cause 
serious difficulties, even complications, if \ve failed to come to an entente, and 
I hoped he would exercise his best influence so as to enable us to reach the 
desired end. 

On the 6th of January 1904 a Russian reply was handed at Tokio 
by Baron Rosen to Baron Komura, but in substance it amounted to 
little more than a repetition, save for mere changes of wording, of 
what had gone before, and the attitude of Russia, it was plain, had 
undergone no sensible alteration. Speaking candidly, there was an 
end to all hope ; but the Government of Tokio, still willing to exert 
itself, and even to make some concession, again invited the Russian 
Government, on the 13th of January , r to reconsider the matter, in terms 
which, though conciliatory enough, constituted practically an ultimatum. 
In the despatch conveying this decision to the Russian Government 
the subjoined phrase occurred : 

The grounds for these amendments having been frequently and fully 
explained on previous occasions, the Imperial Government do not think it 
necessary to repeat the explanations. It is sufficient here to express their 
earnest hope for reconsideration by the Imperial Kussian Government. 

And again : 

The above-mentioned amendments being proposed by the Imperial Govern- 
ment entirely in a spirit of conciliation, it is expected that they will be received 
in the same spirit at the hands of the Imperial Russian Government ; and the 
Imperial Government further hope for an early reply from the Imperial Eussian 
Government, since further delay in the solution of the question will be extremely 
disadvantageous to the two countries. 

Even in the face of such earnest representations of the danger of 
procrastination Russia still dallied, and on the 23rd and 26th of 
January 1904 Baron Komura successively telegraphed to Mr. Kurino, 
pressing for a prompt response. In one of the telegrams Mr. Kurino 
was instructed to seek an interview with Count Lamsdorff and state 
to him, as a direct instruction received from the Japanese Government, 

in the opinion of the Imperial Government, a further prolongation of the present 
state of things being calculated to accentuate the gravity of the situation, it is 
their earnest hope that they will be honoured with an early reply, and that they 
wish to know at what time they may expect to receive the reply. 

N 2 


On the 28th of January Mr. Kurino reported to Baron Komura 
his interview with Count Lamsdorff, in which he explains how 

He (Count Larnsdorff) stated that -the Grand Duke Alexis and the Minister 
of Marine are to be received in audience next Monday, and the Minister of War 
and himself on Tuesday, and he thinks an answer will be sent to Admiral 
Alexeieff on the latter day. I pointed out the urgent necessity to accelerate the 
despatch of an answer as much as possible, ' because further prolongation of 
tlie present condition is not only undesirable, but rather dangerous.' I added 
that all the while the world is loud with rumours, and that I hoped he would 
take special steps so as to have an answer sent at an earlier date than men- 
tioned. He replied that ' he knoivs tJie existing condition of things very ivsll, 
but that the dates of audience being fixed as above mentioned, it is not now 
possible to change them ' ; and he repeated that ' he will do his best to send the 
reply next Tuesday (the 2nd of February).' 

Upon this Baron Komura, still anxious beyond measure to avoid 
the risks attendant upon these indefinite conditions, again telegraphed, 
on the 30th of January, to Mr. Kurino to see Count Lamsdorff at the 
earliest opportunity and state to him that : 

Having reported to your Government that the Kussian Government would 
probably give a reply on next Tuesday, you have been instructed to say to 
Count Lamsdorff that, being fully convinced of the serious disadvantage to the 
two Powers concerned of the further prolongation of the present situation, the 
Imperial Government hoped that they might be able to receive the reply of the 
Kussian Government earlier than the date mentioned by Count Lamsdorff. 
As it, however, appears that the receipt of the reply at an earlier date is not 
possible, the Imperial Government wish to know whether they will be honoured 
with the reply at the date mentioned by Count Lamsdorff, namely, next Tuesday 
(2nd of February), or, if it is not possible, what will be the exact date on which 
the reply is to be given. 

On the evening of the 31st of January Mr. Kurino saw Count 
Lamsdorff, who said that he 

fully appreciated the gravity of the present situation, and was certainly 
desirous to send an answer as quickly as possible, but that the question was a 
very serious one and not lightly to be dealt with. The opinions of the Ministers 
concerned and of Admiral Alexeieff had to be brought into harmony hence the 
delay. As to the date of sending an answer, it was not possible for him to give 
the exact date, as it entirely depended on the decision of the Emperor, though 
he would not fail to uso his efforts to hurry the matter. 

It was not until the fifth day after this interview which Mr. Kurino 
had with Count Lamsdorff, and the third day after the reply had been 
promised to be given, namely, on the 5th of February 1904, at 
2.15 P.M., that Baron Komura telegraphed to Mr. Kurino as follows : 

Further prolongation of the present situation being inadmissible, the Imperial 
Government have decided to terminate the pending negotiations and to take 
such independent action as they may deem necessary to defend their menaced 
position and to protect their rights and interests. Accordingly, you are 
instructed to address to Count Lamsdorff, immediately upon receipt of this 
telegram, a signed Note to the following effect : 


' The undersigned, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his 
Majesty the Emperor of Japan, has the honour, in pursuance of instructions 
from his Government, to address to his Excellency the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs of his Majesty the Emperor of All the Eussias the following com- 
munication : 

' The Government of H.M. the Emperor of Japan regard the independence 
and territorial integrity of the Empire of Korea as essential to their own repose 
and safety, and they are consequently unable to view with indifference any 
action tending to render the position of Korea insecure. 

' The successive rejections by the Imperial Eussian Government, by means 
of inadmissible amendments, of Japan's proposals respecting Korea, the adop- 
tion of which the Imperial Government regarded as indispensable to assure the 
independence and territorial integrity of the Korean Empire and to safeguard 
Japan's preponderating interests in the peninsula, coupled with the successive 
refusals of the Imperial Russian Government to enter into engagements to 
respect China's territorial integrity in Manchuria, which is seriously menaced 
by their continued occupation of the province, notwithstanding their treaty 
engagements with China and their repeated assurances to other Powers pos- 
sessing interests in those regions, have made it necessary for the Imperial 
Government seriously to consider what measures of self-defence they are called 
upon to take. 

' In the presence of delays which remain largely unexplained, and naval and 
military activities which it is difficult to reconcile with entirely pacific amis, the 
Imperial Government have exercised in the pending negotiations a degree of 
forbearance which they believe affords abundant proof of their loyal desire to 
remove from their relations with the Imperial Eussian Government every 
cause for future misunderstanding ; but, finding in their efforts no prospect of 
securing from the Imperial Eussian Government an adhesion either to Japan's 
moderate and unselfish proposals, or to any other proposals likely to establish a 
firm and enduring peace in the extreme East, the Imperial Government have 
no alternative than to terminate the present futile negotiations. 

' In adopting that course the Imperial Government reserve to themselves the 
right to take such independent action as they may deem best to consolidate and 
defend their menaced position, as well as to protect their established rights and 
legitimate interests.' 

Simultaneously with the presentation of this Note Mr. Kurino was 
instructed to address Count Lamsdorff in writing to the following 
effect : 

The undersigned Envoy Extraordinary, &c., &c., has the honour, in pursu- 
ance of instructions from his Government, to acquaint H.E. the Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, &c., &<;., that the Imperial Government of Japan, having 
exhausted, without effect, every means of conciliation, with a view to the removal 
from their relations with the Imperial Russian Government of every cause for 
future complications, and finding that their just representations and moderate 
and unselfish proposals in the interest of a firm and lasting peace in the extreme 
East are not receiving the consideration which is their due, have resolved to 
sever their diplomatic relations with the Imperial Eussian Government, which 
for the reason named have ceased to possess any value. 

In further fulfilment of the command of his Government, the undersigned 
has also the honour to announce to H.E. Count Lamsdorff that it is his intention 
to take his departure from St. Petersburg, with the Staff of the Imperial 

These Notes were presented to Count LamsdorS by Mr. Kurino on 


the 6th of February, at 4 P.M., and on the same day Baron Komura 
conveyed a formal intimation to Baron Rosen, in Tokio, in the sense 

Whereas the Japanese Government had made every effort to arrive at an 
amicable settlement of the Manchurian question with Russia, the latter had not 
evinced any disposition to reciprocate this peaceful purpose. Therefore Japan 
could not continue the diplomatic conferences. She was regretfully compelled 
to take independent action for the protection of her rights and interests, and she 
must decline to accept the responsibility of any incidents that might occur in 

A dispassionate perusal of all the foregoing despatches cannot fail 
to lead the student of history to the conclusion that repeated warnings 
were given by Japan in the successive stages of the negotiations, and 
that the last two despatches, dated the 5th of February, left absolutely 
no room for doubt that Japan had finally, though reluctantly, 
arrived at the conclusion that war was inevitable. The wording is 
polite, but who can doubt that it was a clear notice of war ? 

I must go farther than this ; and it will, I think, be equally plain 
when I have finished that not only had Japan made up her rnind upon 
this point, but that Russia by her actions which ' speak louder than 
words ' conclusively manifested that her intentions were warlike too. 
First, let me mention that the day on which Count Lamsdorff had 
led Mr. Kurino to expect that the reply would be ready was Tuesday, 
the 2nd of February. The day on which negotiations were finally 
broken ofi was Saturday, the 6th of February. On the intervening 
Thursday the Russian fleet at Port Arthur suddenly emerged from 
harbour and steamed out for hours to the south-eastward, ultimately 
returning to port. For what purpose this cruise was undertaken 
could not be divined, but it created of necessity intense excitement 
and anxiety in Japan, where it was interpreted as the prelude to some 
desperate measure, and the activity of the Russian naval squadron, 
thus exemplified, is wholly inconsistent with the theory of unprepared- 
ness. It should be remembered that for a long time before this Russia 
had been pouring regiment after regiment into Manchuria, her Cossacks 
had invaded Korea, warship after warship had been despatched from 
Western waters to reinforce the fleet which she already had in Far 
Eastern seas, and in her diplomacy she had displayed a persistent arro- 
gance which contrasted strongly with the conciliatory attitude of Japan. 

But this is not all. At the moment when Admiral Togo actually 
made his attack the Russian ships laij outside the harbour in a perfect 
battle array, in front of the shore forts and batteries of the fortress, a 
position that they had taken up on their return from their cruise to 
the south-eastward. Wherein was the unpreparedness ? If the 
officers of the Russian ships were caught in an unguarded moment, 
blame must not be imputed to the Japanese. The cause must rather 
be sought in a misconception on the part of the Russians of the watchful 


strategy which the situation demanded. The facts are, moreover, 
that the Russian ships had lain under a full head of steam for days 
off the Port Arthur entrance, had been continually using their search- 
lights as though they apprehended an attack, the battleships had 
their decks cleared for action, and the instant that the first torpedo 
was launched the Russians opened fire on the Japanese boats. 

These remarks should alone suffice to show that Russia was not 
taken by surprise ; but I will show a few well-authenticated figures in 
addition. Her warlike preparations in the Far East had been going 
on from the previous April, when she ought by right to have been 
completing the evacuation of Manchuria in accordance with her 
solemn pledges. In the remaining months of 1903 she despatched to 
Far Eastern waters 


Three battleships ........ 38,488 

One armoured cruiser ....... 7,727 

Five other cruisers 26,417 

Seven destroyers 2,450 

One gunboat 1,344 

Two mine-laying craft 6,000 

Seven other destroyers were sent by rail to Port Arthur and there 
put together, and two vessels of the ' Volunteer ' Fleet were armed 
and hoisted the Russian naval ensign at Vladivostock. 

On land the increase of the Russian forces was equally marked. 
The known augmentations, subsequent to the end of June 1903, were 
two infantry brigades, two artillery battalions, and a large force of 
cavalry. The total was continually being increased by troops being 
sent by train from Russia, up to 40,000, and plans were made for 
despatching over 200,000 more men. In October a train of fourteen 
cars was hurriedly sent off, laden with the equipment of a field hospital. 

On the 21st of January two battalions of infantry and a detach- 
ment of cavalry were sent from Port Arthur and Dalny to menace 
the northern frontier of Korea. On the 28th of January Admiral 
Alexeieff gave to the Russian forces then stationed in the vicinity 
of the Yalu River orders to prepare for war. Troops were advanced 
in large numbers at the same time from Liao-Yang towards the Yalu. 
And on the 1st of February the military commandant at Vladivostock 
formally requested the Japanese Commercial Agent at that port, by 
order of the Russian Government, to notify Japan that a state of siege 
might be proclaimed at any moment. This was five days, be it 
observed, before Japan broke off diplomatic relations. 

Sir John Macdonell says : 

It [the first torpedoing the Russian vessels] was an attack of surprise. Was 
it a treacherous and disloyal act ? The question must be put with the know- 
ledge that a nation which is patient may be duped ; that the first blow counts 
much ; and that under cover of continuing negotiations a country unprepared 
might deprive another better equipped of its advantages. 


All that I have said above would be sufficient to solve these points 
of the question. The attack on Port Arthur was not an attack of 
surprise in the sense of international law. It can be at the most 
spoken of as an attack of tactical surprise, though it was not also 
the case. The party who was defeated can complain of it no more 
than he can complain of the defeat of the Yalu or Kinchow. The 
Russian plan was to deprive Japan of her chance, and either to bluff 
her off to the end or to fight at the hour of their own choice. Japan 
was patient enough ; if she were patient longer she would have been 
completely duped. As a matter of fact, there was some report that 
the plan of the Russians was to make a sudden raid on Japan on about 
the 20th of February, and that was not at all improbable. Some 
Russians say that Russia never meant to go to war, and that the 
very fact that she was not at all prepared to cope with a little nation 
like Japan is the best proof of it. This does not follow at all, and 
nothing is more foreign to the fact than to imagine that Russia was 
sincerely anxious to maintain peace. In the eyes of the Russians 
there was no such Japan as they have, or rather the world has, begun 
to see since the opening of the war. They trusted, no doubt, either 
to bs able to bluff through or crush at a blow if necessary. Even 
in the battle of the Yalu, nay, even in the battle of Kinchow, or 
Wafangu, they were unable to believe that the Japanese were not 
after all ' monkeys with the brain of birds ' ! Only a little time ago 
an eminent French statesman told me that France understood Japan 
little ; Russia still less. It was the sole cause of the present un- 
fortunate war. ' In that respect,' he continued, ' England was 
sharper, for she understood the Far East, and, consequently, the 
changing circumstances of the world, before any other Occidental 

There is, I believe, a good deal in it. 




ON the 4th of August 1704 (New Style), the Eock of Gibraltar was 
captured by Great Britain, and it has remained in her possession from 
that day to this. Among the many possessions scattered all over 
the globe that are comprised in the British Empire to-day, there is 
none that the nation holds with greater tenacity for reasons both of 
sentiment and of material interest, and none that it would lose with 
more poignant shame and sorrow, than the redoubtable stronghold 
we took from Spain at the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne. 
Short-lived indeed would be the Ministry who, in some amicable settle- 
ment of long-standing disputes, proposed to hand over Gibraltar to 
its original and (in a geographical sense) natural owners or to any 
other Power ; and the pride and strength of England would have to be 
humbled to the very dust in war before the surrender of the Rock could 
be included in any conditions which a British Government would so 
much as take into consideration as the price of peace. 

The fact that throughout the eighteenth century, when so many 
conquests in both hemispheres changed hands backwards and for- 
wards in successive wars and under successive treaties, Gibraltar 
remained permanently in the keeping of England, might seem to 
prove that British sentiment with regard to it was from the first the 
same as it is to-day. But this is far from having been the case. For, 
although at the end of two hundred years of our possession of the for- 
tress, at a time when the Imperial instinct of Englishmen has become 
more consciously developed and more deeply ingrained than ever 
before, and at the same time more intelligently appreciative of the true 
meaning of sea power and alive to the strategical requirements of its 
maintenance, the retention of the key of the Mediterranean has 
become an essential article of our political creed, it was a considerable 
time before the immense value of the acquisition was fully realised 
by British statesmen. It seems strange enough to us to remember that 
King George the First and his Ministers were ready to give up Gibraltar 
merely to secure Spain's acquiescence in the arrangement by which 
the Quadruple Alliance was anxious to make some pettifogging modi- 
fications in the shuffle of territories effected by the Treaty of Utrecht ; 
but it is still more extraordinary that so clear-sighted, patriotic, and 



high-spirited an empire-builder as Lord Chatham himself should 
have made a similar offer as an inducement to Spain to help us to 
recover Minorca and this, moreover, at a time when the fortress had 
been in our hands for more than half a century, and its vital importance 
to our growing maritime supremacy had already been abundantly 
proved in the naval wars of the period. Happily the Spaniards were 
as blind as ourselves to the supreme importance of the position com- 
manding the road from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Their 
pride was, it is true, grievously wounded by its loss, and throughout 
the greater part of the eighteenth century its recovery was one of the 
most cherished aims of their policy and of their warlike efforts ; but 
they clung to the hope that fortune would restore it to them without 
requiring them to pay even the paltry price demanded on different 
occasions by England. At all events, the continual readjustments 
of territory elsewhere in Europe made or proposed to be made in the 
interests of the various reigning dynasties were deemed by Spain 
of greater immediate moment than the ownership of Gibraltar. 
England's short-sighted proposals to part with its possession were 
therefore once and again rejected, with the fortunate result that we 
are this month entering on our third century of occupation of the 

The truth is, as readers of Mahan do not need to be reminded, 
that the importance of sea power and the nature of the foundations 
on which it is based were very imperfectly grasped even by England 
in the seventeenth and the first half of the eighteenth century, and 
scarcely at all by any other European Power. Occasionally, at 
intervals, some statesman like Colbert in France or Alberoni in Spain 
had more than an inkling of the truth ; but no nation except England 
made deliberate and sustained efforts with a view to maritime develop- 
ment. Even England did so rather by instinct than by insight. 
Instinct led her to take measures, first for expanding, and secondly 
for protecting her sea-borne trade ; and these measures proved to be 
just those required for the establishment of a world- wide Empire 
based on sea power. But it was only by slow degrees that she gained 
insight into the significance of this commercial policy in relation to 

Of this blindness to the true principles of maritime policy, the 
taking of Gibraltar and its history during the following three-quarters 
of a century afford a striking illustration. Just as the vast import- 
ance of its acquisition was at the time underrated both by England 
and Spain, so its actual capture by the former was an afterthought, 
and (it may almost be said) an accident. It became a British posses- 
sion in the first instance because at a time when we happened to be 
at war with one of the rival claimants to the Spanish throne our 
admiral in the Mediterranean happened to have no particular objective 
in view, and, having failed in his only enterprise of that year, was 


unwilling to return home with a fine fleet that had done nothing for 
the honour of the flag. So he thought he might as well make an attack 
on Gibraltar as do anything else. Nevertheless, his action has to be 
reckoned among the notable ' deeds that won the Empire,' and one 
that on its bi-centenary deserves to be had in remembrance. Com- 
pared with Wolfe's memorable exploit fifty-five years later, Rooke's 
achievement in 1704 was less heroic and illustrious in a military sense, 
and produced results less conspicuous at the moment. But if it did 
not, like the storming of Quebec, accomplish the conquest of half a 
continent, nor add an immense territory to the dominions of the 
Crown, the acquisition of Gibraltar was destined to have a still more 
far-reaching influence in building up and rendering secure for the 
future the maritime power, and with it the over-sea empire, of Great 

England became involved in the war of the Spanish Succession, 
in which this famous episode occurred, within two months of the 
accession of Queen Anne. One of the first acts of the new Sovereign 
was to appoint her consort, Prince George of Denmark, to the office 
of Lord High Admiral. At the same time Sir George Rooke became 
* Vice-Admiral of England,' and received in addition the high-sounding 
title of ' Lieutenant of the Admiralty of England and Lieutenant of 
the fleets and seas of this Kingdom.' He was also made a member 
of a Council established to assist Prince George in the execution of his 
office. His administrative duties at the Admiralty did not, however, 
prevent his taking command of a fleet as soon as war was declared. 
Sir George Rooke was at this time an officer who had seen a lot of 
active service in which he had won distinction, though for political 
reasons he had not received as much credit as he deserved. Thirty 
years before, while still a lieutenant, he had made his mark in the 
wars against the Dutch. He it was who as Commodore commanded 
the squadron that convoyed Kirke to the Foyle in 1689, and raised 
the siege of Londonderry. In the following year, having been pro- 
moted to flag rank, he took part in the battle of Beachy Head, and at 
La Hogue he performed a brilliant exploit in following the French 
inshore and burning their men-of-war and transports a service for 
which he was rewarded by the honour of knighthood from William the 
Third when the King shortly afterwards dined on board his flagship 
at Portsmouth. Since that date Rooke had been in command of fleets 
in the Mediterranean and the Channel, besides holding the appoint- 
ment of a Lord of the Admiralty ; and so recently as the year 1700 in 
conjunction with a Swedish squadron had forced the Danes to come 
to terms with Charles the Twelfth. 

There was therefore no British naval officer with a higher reputa- 
tion than Sir George Rooke when the disputed succession to the 
Spanish crown led to a declaration of war by England against France 
and Spain on the 14th of May (N.S.) 1702. The events of the first 


two years of the war do not concern us here, though it may be men- 
tioned that Rooke received the thanks of the House of Commons 
he was himself member for Portsmouth for his success in destroying 
the Spanish treasure-ships in the harbour of Vigo. In the beginning 
of 1704 he was ordered to escort to Lisbon the Archduke Charles, who 
had proclaimed himself King of Spain and had resolved to proceed in 
person to the Peninsula to assert his rights. A powerful fleet was 
commissioned for this service, but it was found impossible to fit out 
all the ships by the appointed date, so Sir Cloudesley Shovel was placed 
in command of a second squadron with orders to follow the Com- 
mander-in- Chief as quickly as possible. After Rooke sailed informa- 
tion reached the Admiralty that a French fleet was preparing to sail 
from Brest. Shovel thereupon received fresh orders to proceed to 
Brest and blockade it. He was too late, however, to do this, and 
was obliged to follow in the wake of the French in the hope of eluding 
them and effecting a junction with Rooke somewhere near the Straits 
of Gibraltar. Rooke, meantime, had reached Lisbon without falling 
in with an enemy, and landed the Archduke ' after two days had been 
spent in adjusting the ceremonial ' for conducting 'His Catholic Majesty 
Charles the Third' from the flagship to the shore. The admiral 
then spent a month cruising off the Spanish and Portuguese coasts in 
search of a Spanish fleet returning from the West Indies. But early 
in May orders reached him from home to go on to the Mediterranean 
to relieve Nice and Villafranca, which were in danger of falling into 
the hands of the French. This move was not at all to the liking of 
Charles the Third, who was chiefly intent on securing his own position 
in Spain, and accordingly ' the admiral was extremely, pressed by his 
Catholic Majesty to undertake somewhat in his favour.' Rooke's 
orders were explicit, and he knew he might incur a heavy respon- 
sibility by delaying their execution. But he was hampered by the 
additional absurd instructions to undertake nothing without the con- 
sent of the Kings of Spain and Portugal, who could seldom agree on 
anything whatever. Anyhow, he consented to make an attempt on 
Barcelona, where it was represented to him that the inhabitants were 
ready to declare for the Austrian candidate as soon as he appeared 
before the city. This soon proved to be a complete delusion, and the 
attempt to reduce the place was a fiasco. 

Ten days after this abortive undertaking Rooke learnt the where- 
abouts of the French fleet from Brest, and, although still without Sir 
Cloudesley Shovel's reinforcements, he gave chase to the French and 
succeeded in driving them into Toulon. He next passed the Straits 
into the Atlantic once more, and on the 26th of June was joined at 
last by Shovel's squadron off Lagos. The combined fleet then con- 
tinued aimlessly cruising about while awaiting orders from home. 
But, as the old eighteenth- century naval chronicler puts it, ' Sir George 
Rooke being very sensible of the reflections that would fall upon him, 


if, having so considerable a fleet under his command, he spent the 
summer in doing nothing of importance,' he called a council of war in 
the Tetuan roadstead on the 27th of July. Several schemes for 
doing ' something of importance ' were discussed and found im- 
practicable ; the admiral ' declared that he thought it requisite that 
they should resolve upon some service or other, and after a long 
debate it was carried to make a sudden and vigorous attempt upon 
Gibraltar.' Three reasons were given for this decision. ' First, 
because in the condition the place then was, there was some pro- 
bability of taking it ; which in case it had been properly provided, 
and there had been in it a numerous garrison, would have been im- 
possible. Secondly, because the possession of that place was of 
infinite importance during the present war. Thirdly, because the 
taking of this place would give a lustre to the Queen's arms, and 
possibly dispose the Spaniards to favour the cause of King Charles.' 

On the 1st of August the fleet, which included a few Dutch ships, 
appeared off Gibraltar. The tactics to be employed for reducing the 
stronghold were dictated by the configuration of the promontory. 
Nor was it the first time that such a plan for its capture had been 
devised by an English admiral. Half a century earlier, in Cromwell's 
time, Admiral Montague, when serving under Blake in the Mediter- 
ranean, had sent a memorandum to Secretary Thurloe containing a 
proposal for an attack on Gibraltar ' as a place that would be of great 
utility in case it could be reduced.' The only way of taking it, he 
added, was ' to land a body of forces on the isthmus, and thereby 
cut off communication of the town with the main ; and in this situa- 
tion to make a brisk attempt upon the place.' Curiously enough 
this suggestion' came to nothing in 1656, because soldiers were not to 
be had for the purpose and the British sailors of that day could not 
be trusted, since ' the hasty disposition of the seamen rendered them 
unfit to perform any effectual service on shore.' But in 1704 things 
had changed in this respect, and Rooke put in execution with complete 
success Montague's plan, which it will have been noticed was similar 
in principle to that of the Japanese at Port Arthur two hundred years 
afterwards. Accordingly the same day that the fleet arrived a force of 
1,800 English and Dutch marines under the Prince of Hesse were put 
ashore ' on the neck of land to the northward of the town.' How 
strange, it may be observed in passing, it must have seemed to English 
and Dutch sailors of that day to find themselves actually fighting 
together as allies of ' his Catholic Majesty ' of Spain, in whose name 
the Governor of the fortress was called upon to surrender it to the 
Prince of Hesse. This demand being of course refused, Sir George 
Rooke ordered his captains to take up positions for bombarding the 
place next day. In the morning of the 2nd of August the wind was 
unfavourable for the necessary evolutions of the ships, so it was 
late in the afternoon before they got into their appointed places. 


Meantime, ' to amuse the enemy,' as Rooke quaintly phrased it in his 
despatch, ' Captain Whitaker was sent in with some boats who burnt 
a French privateer of twelve guns at the mole.' At daybreak on the 
3rd the bombardment began. So furious was the cannonade that 
we are told more than 15,000 rounds were fired in five or six hours ; 
' insomuch that the enemy were soon beat from their guns, especially 
at the South Molehead.' At this juncture Rooke signalled to Captain 
Whitaker presumably for the better ' amusement ' of the enemy 
to take in all the boats and drive the defenders from their fortified 
position on the mole. This order was so promptly obeyed by two 
captains, Jumper and Hicks, who were already close inshore with 
their pinnaces, that before the rest of the boats could take part the 
fortifications were in their possession, though with the loss of two 
lieutenants and 100 men killed and wounded by the springing of a 
mine by the Spaniards. The survivors of the storming party held 
their ground, however, till supported by Whitaker, whose blue- 
jackets were not long in forcing their way into a redoubt between 
the mole and the town, the possession of which by the English appears 
to have rendered the whole fortress untenable ; for on receiving ' a 
peremptory summons ' now sent him by the Prince of Hesse at Rooke's 
instance, the Governor made no further attempt at defence. The 
following morning, the 4th of August 1704, the capitulation was 
signed, and the troops under the Prince of Hesse marched in and 
occupied the fortress the same day. 

It does not appear that the assailants suffered any very heavy 
loss ; in fact, there is no doubt that the defence of the Spanish garrison 
was a tame affair. The French, indeed, anxious to minimise the 
importance of Rooke's success, asserted that the Spaniards had 
neither garrison nor guns on the Rock. This, however, was clearly 
not the fact ; for Rooke, in his report to the Admiralty, expressly 
said * the town is extremely strong and had 100 guns mounted, all 
facing the sea and the two narrow passes to the land, and was well 
supplied with ammunition.' This seems hardly consistent perhaps 
with the alleged state of affairs that moved the Council of War at 
Tetuan to make the attack namely, that the weak and unprovided 
condition of the garrison offered a prospect of success which would 
otherwise have been out of the question ; and it is possible that Rooke 
was as willing to magnify his work after the event as his enemies 
were to discount it. On the other hand it is possible that the natural 
strength of the place and the state of its equipment had not been 
realised until it was seen from inside. This explanation of the 
apparent inconsistency is supported by the opinion of the military 
officers, who after inspecting the fortifications declared that ' fifty 
men might have defended those works against thousands,' and that 
the place had only fallen because .' there never was such an attack as 
the seamen made.' 


The Union Jack was hoisted by Rooke's sailors as soon as they had 
established themselves on the mole ; but the capitulation was accepted 
in the name of Charles the Third, to whom the soldiers "and inhabitants, 
in accordance with one of its articles, had to take an oath of allegiance. 
The fact that at the close of the war, nine years later, England insisted 
on retaining the fortress in her own hands and obtaining a formal 
cession of it from Spain might be taken as proof that the experience 
of the war had taught its true value, were it not for the subsequent 
proposals already mentioned for giving it back in return for com- 
paratively worthless concessions elsewhere. Be that as it may, for 
the time being at all events the Prince of Hesse was left in command 
of the garrison to hold the place for his Catholic Majesty, while the 
English fleet sailed away quite content with the ' something of im- 
portance ' accomplished for the purpose of ' giving a lustre to the 
Queen's arms.' 

The taking of Gibraltar was immediately followed by the battle 
of Malaga, which, according to Dr. John Campbell, Rooke's biographer, 
finally ' decided the empire of the sea,' an opinion practically endorsed 
by the French historian, Martin. Nevertheless, when Sir George 
Rooke shortly afterwards returned home, attempts were made, in a 
spirit with which we have been only too familiar in more recent times, 
to belittle his services for party reasons. The reign of the Revolu- 
tionary Whigs was not yet at an end. Rooke had been elected member 
for Portsmouth in 1698, and in Parliament had committed the un- 
pardonable offence of Noting mostly with those that were called 
Tories.' For this offence William the Third had been pressed to 
remove him from his seat at the Admiralty Board, but honourably 
refused to do so. In 1704 he was still in bad odour with the 
ruling party, who accordingly resented the very mention of 
Gibraltar or Malaga in the same breath with the triumph of the 
great Whig hero at Blenheim, which occurred in the same year. 
The Commons insisted all the same on coupling the victories by 
land and sea in an address of congratulation to the Crown, though 
the expressions used gave great offence ' to many of the warmest 
friends of the Ministry.' In the House of Lords, where Whig influence 
remained more powerful than in the Lower House, Rooke's services 
were passed over altogether in silence ; and the rancour of party spirit 
was such that in the same year in which he placed in the hands of his 
countrymen the key of the Mediterranean and the empire of the 
sea, he found himself obliged to retire into private life. He never 
was employed again. And just as, from motives of party, the Whig 
politicians thus treated him with injustice and neglect, so for the 
same reason the Whig historian perpetuated the injustice to his 
memory. Bishop Burnet persistently belittled the exploits, falsified 
the facts, and misrepresented the motives of Sir George Rooke's 
career. Rooke did not, it need hardly be said, possess the genius of 


a Marlborough, and none of his deeds can justly be compared for a 
moment from a military standpoint with Blenheim or Ramillies ; but 
after making all allowance for the historical importance of Marl- 
borough's illustrious victories in putting a check to the menacing 
power of France, it may be questioned whether any of them con- 
ferred so lasting a benefit on the British Empire as the happy-go- 
lucky enterprise of his naval contemporary whose very name is by 
many scarcely remembered to-day, though the fruit of his action is 
one of our most cherished possessions after two hundred years, while 
the ambition and the schemes of Louis the Fourteenth have long since 
passed into limbo. More fit to be remembered than the churlish jealousy 
of bygone Whigs, whether politician or historian, is the judgment of the 
weightiest modern authority on the relation between sea power and 
empire ; and at this time of the bi-centenary of our occupation of the 
Rock we may well bear his words in mind. ' The English possession 
of Gibraltar,' writes Captain Mahan, ' dates from the 4th of August 
1704, and the deed rightly keeps alive the name of Rooke, to whose 
judgment and fearlessness of responsibility England owes the key of 
the Mediterranean.' l 


1 The Influence of Sea Power upon History, p. 210. 



No industry is more vitally important than shipping to the welfare 
of Great Britain, and none more susceptible to the attack of foreign 
competition. Its decadence would bring widespread and serious 
distress to the working people of our country ; in fact it is a truism 
that the decline of the supremacy of the mercantile marine must 
mean the decline of Great Britain as an empire. 

The prevailing desire in the country for ' cheapness ' i.e. the wish 
to pay down at the moment as little cash as possible without thinking 
where such economy may lead seems to constitute a national danger. 
For instance, some British shipbuilders have imported German 
forgings and castings at prices 30 per cent, below their cost of manu- 
facture in this country ; and by so doing they have increased the 
tendency to sacrifice the primary processes of manufacture, which 
form the great field of employment of our people. 

There can be no doubt that once our employers of labour have 
been induced to exchange the primary processes of manufacture for 
that of fitting together ready-made parts, we shall become increasingly 
dependent upon the foreigner not merely for the supply, but also for 
the price of our shipbuilding materials. 

To-day the producing capacity of German iron and steel firms is 
nine times as great as it was twenty- two years ago. There are twenty- 
one steel-works fitted out with heavy bar-rolling appliances, and in 
the matter of forgings and castings the industry is ahead of the ship- 
building trade, thus placing it in a favourable position to cater for 
work abroad. 

Foreign merchants do not sell their goods in this country below 
the cost of production in Britain, and often below the cost of pro- 
duction to themselves, without having some definite purpose in view. 
Their policy is not one of charity, but is one well calculated to capture 
our markets. So long as our manufacturers turn out iron and steel 
goods similar to those which foreigners export, it will be necessary 
for the latter, as a matter of competition, to sell lower than the British 

VOL. LVI No. 330 189 


prices. This they are able to do by means of home bounties and 
protective tariffs, which leave a sufficiently large profit on their home 
sales to recoup any loss on their exports and give a net gain on their 
total output. 

It is often asserted that to stop by means of a tariff the unlimited 
importation of these foreign manufactures must certainly lead to 
handicapping British shipbuilders in their competition for orders. 
As an example of such argument the following is a paragraph taken 
from the Glasgow Herald Supplement on the year's (1903) shipbuilding 
and engineering. 

Looking at the position in this light, there can only be one answer to the 
question. Building material cannot be too cheap, and if foreign makers can 
supply it at less cost than our own, it is not only to builders' interests but 
for the national benefit that the foreign material be used. No doubt it is 
' hard lines ' for home makers, but they are not the men to sit down under 
it. New circumstances and new forces will stimulate new methods and 

Surely there never was a more flagrant example of how ' spurious 
free trade ' argument can be made to subserve private ends, of how 
it can be utilised to favour one class, or one industry, at the expense 
of another, of how it can by selfish application sap away the prosperity 
of a nation ; for it certainly would not be to the national benefit to 
sacrifice the prime industries of the land. 

Another way in which British shipping stands to lose heavily 
is by the increasing amount of partly finished stuff it brings to this 
country in place of raw material. 

Kaw material as a rule is of much greater bulk and weight than 
the semi-masiufactured article, and therefore needs a greater amount 
of transport. An eminent authority recently gave figures in the Western 
Mail showing how the importation into Newport (Wales) of 200,000 
tons of German steel, instead of the material to manufacture it from, 
had caused a loss to shipowners of not less than 39,OOOZ. in freights. 
This can be readily believed when it is said that it requires about 
30,000 tons of hematite ore to manufacture 10,000 tons of steel, not 
to mention the need of some 25,000 tons of coal and coke for that 

Thus in the interest of prosperous employment for the people it 
is essential that British shipping should preserve its ascendency ; and 
in no way allow foreign nations to usurp its carrying power, ship- 
building, or allied industries. 

In order to see how shipping legislation may be rendered less 
oppressive to shipowners it is essential to consider how they are unduly 
handicapped by the laws of to-day. 

A prime grievance is the load-line restriction to which British 
ships, when laden, are bound to conform, while foreign vessels are 


not made to comply with the Act, with the consequence that foreign 
vessels of the same carrying capacity as British ones are enabled to 
carry larger cargoes and earn greater profits. 

As an illustration we have the case given in the report of the Select 
Committee on Shipping Subsidies (year 1901) of a ship which, while 
trading under the British flag, was limited to a carrying capacity of 
1825 tons ; but when sold to the Germans actually traded into Liver- 
pool with the cargo of 2100 tons, or with an excess of 15 per cent. 
over her former carrying capacity. 

Another difference is that between the British and foreign regis- 
tered tonnage of a vessel, which in the matter of paying dues seriously 
mulcts the shipowners of this country. Thus two vessels may have 
exactly the same cargo-carrying capacity ; but the British ship would 
by our measurement be registered at 2000 tons, while the foreign 
vessel is registered at 1800 tons ; thus causing the British vessel to 
pay dues on 200 tons more than the foreigner, although in reality both 
ships are of the same size. 

Mr. Beasley, general manager of the Taff Railway Company, 
South Wales, has given some valuable figures in the Times, which 
show that out of 100 vessels previously British-owned, but now belong- 
ing to seven foreign nations, the difference between the former and 
latter registration varies between 12 and 10 per cent. Thus, on the 
aggregate tonnage of the 100 vessels, amounting to 158,000 tons, the 
foreign registration shows 17,617 tons less upon which to levy dues 
than when the ships were on the British register. 

The President of the Board of Trade has expressed recently his 
intention of dealing with such unfairness ; but it is not so much fresh 
legislation that is wanted as official activity. 

Section 84 of the Merchant Shipping Act already provides that 
' where the tonnage of any foreign ships materially differs from that 
which would be the tonnage under the British flag she may be re- 
measured under the terms of the Act.' 

But unless a case is glaringly apparent steps of that kind are 
seldom if ever taken. This is the more to be regretted, for when ship- 
ping competition is so fierce, and the margin between profit and loss 
so small, it seems imperative to adopt some policy which will place 
all foreign shipping when trading in British waters on at least the 
same footing as that of our own country. 

When advocating ' a fair field and no favour ' the exclusion of 
British vessels from certain foreign coastal trades must be taken into 
account. At present every nation is allowed absolute free trade on 
the coasts of the United Kingdom, and also on those of the Crown 
colonies and dependencies, as well as between the colonies and the 
mother country. Most of the self-governing colonies also allow free 
trade on their coasts ; but Canada stipulates that such privilege is 
granted solely on condition of reciprocity, 

o 2 


On the other hand, British shipping is excluded from the home 
coasting trade of the following countries : United States of America 
(on both coasts, Atlantic and Pacific ; and even on voyages extending 
from coast to coast), Russia (on all coasts, and even on voyages extend- 
ing from ports in the Baltic to ports, like Vladivostock, in the East), 
France, Spain, Portugal. It is also excluded from trading between 
the following countries and their possessions : France and her 
Algerian trade (free trade exists between France, Guadaloupe, Mada- 
gascar, and other island colonies, but other shipping is specially 
taxed) ; United States of America (trade to Philippine ports open 
to British and Spanish vessels till 1909. But on trade between 
Philippine ports and U.S.A. special duties are levied on goods 
when carried in foreign or British ships); Spain (handicapped 
by levying surtaxes on produce brought home in foreign hulls) ; 
Portugal (excepting those possessions exempted by special decrees) ; 

When we consider the enormous power we possess in our shipping 
for negotiation, it seems strange that in 1854 we should have abolished 
the old navigation laws, and removed all power of taxing foreign 
shipping without retaining a clause in favour of reciprocity. In the 
days of old the reservation of coastal trade to national keels was well 
recognised as one of the most powerful and promising arguments for 
use in demanding an open market. Alexander Hamilton, the great 
American statesman, laid it down as an essential to be included in 
the articles of the United States Constitution. 

In advocating the acceptance of such a policy he wrote in his 
paper, the Federalist, November 1787, thus : 

Suppose for instance we had a Government in America capable of exclud- 
ing Great Britain (with whom we have at present no treaty of commerce) from 
all our ports, what would be the probable operation of this step upon her 
politics? Would it not enable us to negotiate, with the fairest prospect of 
success, for commercial privileges of the most valuable and extensive kind in 
the dominions of that Kingdom ? . . . Such a point gained from the British 
Government, and which could not be expected without an equivalent in exemp- 
tions and immunities in our markets, would be likely to have a correspondent 
effect on the conduct of other nations, who would not be inclined to see them- 
selves altogether supplanted in our trade. 

If we simply exchange the names of the countries mentioned above, 
and speak of Britain where Hamilton says America, and vice versa, 
no more lucid or cogent appeal in favour of reserving British coastal 
trade to British shipping excepting on conditions of reciprocity could 
be put forward. 

In the famous Board of Trade Blue-book, C. D. 1761, ' British and 
Foreign Trade, and Industrial Conditions,' figures are given showing 
the classification of the foreign tonnage participating in the trade 
between the United Kingdom and British colonies and possessions, 


and showing to what extent that trade is shared by countries giving 
free trading to British ships on their coasts or refusing it. 

In 1902 the total trade between the United Kingdom colonies 
and possessions amounted to 13,250,000 tons l (11,750,000 British, 
1,500,000 foreign). Of the foreign tonnage 94 per cent, was that of 
countries granting open coastal trade to British ships ; G per cent, 
was that of countries refusing such privilege. 

Hence it follows that were ' reciprocity ' made a test of admission 
to British, colonial, and coasting trade, 5 or 6 per cent, of the foreign 
shipping now engaged in that trade would be excluded until such time 
as arrangements were made to the mutual benefit. 

The power of laying embargo is pregnant with great possibilities. 

A considerable proportion of foreign tonnage is enabled to trade 
solely through the receipt of State-aid. The following table shows 
approximately the amount of subsidy granted by the various foreign 
Governments to their national shipping ; 

United States 357,723 

France (mails and bounties) . - . . . . 1,787,270 

Germany (mail subsidies) 400,000 

Italy (mails and bounties) 500,000 

Eussia (mails and bounties) 374,700 

Austria-Hungary (mails and bounties) . . . 400,000 

Portugal (mail subsidies) 13,000 

Netherlands 75,000 

Norway 30,000 

Sweden 17,000 

Denmark 20,000 

Japan (mail and bounties) 700,000 

There can be no doubt as to what is the object aimed at by the 
Governments granting these bounties. It is first to develop their national 
marines both as a source of industry and as a support to their naval 
power. In the second place, to undercut British shipping, and so 
secure a portion of this country's trade. If such were not the inten- 
tion, it would be a matter of surprise that so many bounty-fed vessels 
are to be seen in British ports, such as Bombay, Calcutta, Singapore, 
Hongkong, Durban, Melbourne, and Sydney. These subsidies cover 
either all or some of the following expenses : interest on capital 
borrowed by the shipping companies, depreciation, insurance of the 
vessels, crews' wages and stores, and in consequence enable foreign 
shipowners to carry cargoes at a rate of freight which would ruin 
unsubsidised British shipping. 

The evidence given by Sir Henry Beyne, K.C.M.G., before the 
Parliamentary Select Committee on steamships subsidies in 1901, 
throws valuable light on this matter. He quoted instances in which 
he knew of French sailing ships of about 3200 tons earning bounties 

1 These figures do not refer to inter -trading between the colonies and possessions. 




of 4000L per annum ; and certain vessels in particular earning bounties 
as follows : 

Per cent. 

. 34 
. 37 

Charles Gounod on value of vessel . 
General Neumayer ,, 

Per cent. 

. 17 on value of shares 
. 18* 

Heine Blanche 



The effect of these vessels seeking cargoes in a port where British 
ships are lying cannot be otherwise than disadvantageous to the 
latter, and though working at a loss, they are (to use an Irishism) 
able to pay dividends. To illustrate how the reservation of the 
imperial coastal trade to British vessels, excepting on conditions of 
reciprocity, could be made a powerful means of securing free and fair 
competition, take the case of French ships trading along the British 
East and West African coasts. 

The subsidies paid in these trades by France are : 

East Africa and Indian Ocean 76,985 

And West Coast of Africa 20,036 

Were these ships interdicted from trading along British African coasts 
until such time as France gave reciprocal permission to British ship- 
owners to trade in her Franco-Algerian trade, there can be little 
doubt that the French ships would remain on that portion of the 
coast left open to them either at great loss, or with a great increase in 
their subsidies ; either of which conditions could not but react adversely 
upon the national finance. 

If to some people the policy of ' real free trade ' is distasteful, 
there remains an alternative measure, and that is to levy a special 
duty on all subsidised flags equivalent to the amount of their 
subsidy. By either method of differential treatment increased trade 
under fair conditions would be assured ; for no nation can afford to 
bolster up indefinitely such an industry as the sailing of unprofitable 

The severity of foreign shipping competition has certainly some 
bearing on the question of the decrease of British sailors in the mer- 
cantile marine. One effect has been to prevent the wages of the 
seafarer from rising in the same degree that they have in employ- 
ments on shore, and thus the sea has ceased to tempt young men 
to adopt it as their career in life in the same way as it used to do. 

In the evidence given before the committee recently appointed by 
the Board of Trade to enquire into questions affecting the mercan- 
tile marine ; it was shown how British sailors had decreased steadily 
from 1890 to 1901, and how foreign (other than Asiatic) sailors had 
steadily increased thus : 




Foreign (exclusive of Asiatics) 





The following table illustrates tlie advance of wages made relatively 
in shore and sea life : 





Increase of 



s. d. 

Per cent. 

( Carpenters 



142 8 


Ashore < Compositors 





[_ Bricklayers 





fAble Seaman 

Sea . <^ Sail 





L Fireman 





To pay higher wages in British ships is now impossible ; the same 
may be said indeed of any reform that calls for expenditure on the 
part of the shipowner. When once it is recognised that the important 
thing is not so much what wages are paid for, as where they come 
from, it will not be difficult to see the truth of this statement. The 
capitalist shipowner is the wage fund of the seaman. So long as the 
shipowner lives, so long does the wage fund last, and is available for 
the purchase of labour. If through good trade the shipowner grows 
rich, the wage fund grows with him ; if through a surplus of tonnage, 
severe competition, or trade depression, he grows poorer, the wage 
fund dwindles too. The main point then is to preserve the wage fund 
at the back of the shipowner ; and having done that, the wage-earners 
have ample power through combination to ensure that they get their 
share of ' the better times ' that follow. 

If British shipowners were supported, in times of need, by a policy 
possessing retaliatory power against those nations which sought to 
ruin their trade by artificial means, there can be little hesitation in 
saying that seafaring would become more popular as it became more 
profitable, and would once again resume its position as the calling of 
those who should form the backbone of the navy and the nation. 

The progress of British shipping forms an interesting study. In 
short, it may be said that prior to 1805 Britain maintained her supre- 
macy through the zeal and courage of her naval commanders ; subse- 
quent to Trafalgar through the navigation laws in other, words, through 
legislative prohibition to import goods to British shores in foreign 
ships. After the repeal of the navigation laws in 1854, a set-back 
occurred to British shipping, with a concurrent augmentation in foreign 
shipping. Indeed, so great was the impetus given to alien shipping by 
the repeal that the foreign tonnage visiting British ports was almost 
doubled in a decade. 

Then came the introduction of iron in place of wood for shipbuilding, 
which restored once more to Britain her leading position as a maritime 

When ships were built of wood, and the motive power was sail, 
timber had to be imported with which to build the vessels, as also 
the hemp, cordage, and flax for setting up the rigging and sails. 


But when iron came to be used, our shipbuilders were able to 
depend upon home supplies of iron ore, lime, and coal, all of which 
are found in the United Kingdom. Other nations might be able to 
build wooden ships cheaper than we ; but none could compete in the 
price of an iron or steel steamer. Hence the dawn of the iron age 
enabled Britain to recover her decline following on the repeal of the 
navigation laws. 

The annexed figures, gleaned from a paper read before the Royal 
Statistical Society by Sir John Glover, will show the varying changes 
as described. 

Table showing percentage of foreign tonnage as compared with 
British tonnage entered and cleared in British ports : 

Foreign British 
Per cent. Per cent. 

1848 (Previous to the repeal of the navigation laws) . 28-8 71-2 

1860 (Effect of the repeal) 41-8 58'2 

1870 (Subsequent to the introduction of iron in ship- 
building) 29-8 70-2 

With the greater portion of the world's ' carrying power ' in 
British hands, it is not surprising that British trade should have 
developed in greater proportion, and with more rapidity, than the 
commerce of all other nations. 

During the twenty years between 1860 and 1880 railway transport 
was still in the first stage of development. Carriage by sea for goods in 
quantity was by far the cheapest and most convenient mode of trans- 
port. British shipowners were able by reason of earning ' double 
freights ' (outward as well as inward cargoes) to allow of low cost of 
carriage for home merchandise. Hence British merchants, through 
British maritime supremacy, were able to exploit their wares in foreign 
and neutral markets with such advantages in their favour as pro- 
hibited all other nations from competition. 

In the early days of continental manufacturing activity there 
was a tremendous demand for British coal, which export formed 
a paying ballast cargo, and enabled vessels to return with 
' imports ' of rarw material at a lower rate of freight than they would 
otherwise have been able to do. But it seems doubtful whether 
coal will long continue as a staple export of this country. As new 
fuels and more economical methods of propulsion are devised, the 
demand for coal will be restricted, and what demand there is will be 
more readily and more cheaply supplied from foreign or colonial pits 
than from those in the United Kingdom. 

Already Germany, the United States of America, Australia, 
Belgium, Japan, India, Natal, and New Zealand export coal in ever- 
increasing quantities. 

This cheapness given by ' export cargoes ' to imports has a great 
and beneficial effect upon the well-being of the people, both as regards 
their food and employment ; and it is essential for the continued pre- 


valence of ' cheapness,' and for the competitive power of the mercan- 
tile marine, that ' export cargoes ' of some sort should be found for 
British shipping. If it is not permanently possible to put our trust 
in coal, then we should strive all we can to develop our manufactures. 

Of recent years there has been a marked increase in the amount 
of competitive foreign tonnage afloat, mainly due to the develop- 
ment of foreign shipbuilding. One result is that a distinct advance 
has taken place in regard to the amount of carrying which certain 
nations do of their own trade. 

The following table gives an idea of this, showing as it does the 
percentage of tonnage entered and cleared under the national flag of 
the total tonnage entered and cleared in the ports of the countries 
named, and also showing the percentage of British tonnage entered 
and cleared in the same ports. 








National British 




10-3 44-7 

British decrease. 




66-1 12-0 

British decrease. 




38-3 12-0 

British decrease. 




47-5 29-9 

British decrease. 

Italy . 



48-8 23-8 

British decrease. 




16-9 52-8 

Remained the same. 

The point to be noted is that as foreign tonnage increased and came 
into competition with British tonnage, the latter had to give way. 

When one remembers that there is a limit to the demand for carry- 
ing capacity in the world, and that the favour of a cargo falls to the 
vessel that will carry it at the lowest rate of freight, it is not sur- 
prising that some people should question whether, if things go on as 
they are going now without alteration or change, the dominating 
position of British shipping may not be seriously undermined. 

In times gone by we obtained our strength from within the United 
Kingdom from iron ore and coal. But these old-time buttresses 
have lost their efficacy. Let us alter our policy and draw our strength 
to-day from an empire united commercially.* Let us aim at a 
federation framed not merely in regard to personal or insular pro- 
sperity, but having as its basis the advancement and defence of trade 
on broad and reciprocal lines, and which we should be ready to share 
with all who meet us in freedom and fairness. 

Some may object to reciprocal measures because they see in them 
a leaning towards protection. Others oppose such reform because 
they do not imagine it can benefit this or that industry. And others, 
again, because they do not believe in adapting the policy of their 
day to suit the circumstances of their time ; trusting rather to fortune 
to bring all things right in the end. 

To such as these the words of Alexander Hamilton must come with 



disconcerting emphasis, for he says : ' It is too much characteristic of 
our national temper to be ingenious in finding out and magnifying 
the minutest disadvantages ; and to reject measures of evident utility, 
even of necessity, to avoid trivial and sometimes imaginary evils. 
We seem not to reflect that in human society there is scarcely any 
plan, however salutary to the whole and to every part, by the share 
each has in the common prosperity, but in one way or another, and 
under particular circumstances, will operate more to the benefit of 
some parts than of others. Unless we can overcome this narrow dis- 
position, and learn to estimate measures by their general tendencies, 
we shall never be a great or a happy people, if we remain a people 
at all.' 




To one who, for some time past, has not only been cultivating a con- 
stituency of his own, but has, in addition, been paying electioneering 
visits to other constituencies, the least satisfactory feature of the 
Liberal position in the country is the inefficiency of its press. It is 
a parrot cry particularly on the part of those having no great depth 
of conviction themselves that the press has ceased to influence the 
country ; that people merely read papers for their news, and not for 
their opinions ; and that, in short, conductors of newspapers and their 
leader-writers are, as professed guides and teachers, found out and 
played out. This is probably no more true nowadays than it has 
been since organs of public opinion existed. My own experience 
has convinced me that the man who does not read opinions in daily 
or weekly papers and reviews is, in nine cases out of ten, a man having 
neither knowledge nor views on public questions ; in the tenth case 
his views are a mere collection of crudities or a reflection of those 
he hears expressed around him, in office, workshop, factory, public 
conveyance, or club. They have no fixed quality, they are never 
informed, and have rarely even the vitality of prejudices. The 
point indeed is hardly worth labouring, and no one who takes the 
trouble to test the origin of the average man's views can fail to find 
that they spring from the acceptance or the rejection of the opinions 
laid down in newspapers. 

How could it be otherwise ? What I find the normal busy man 
does not read in the newspapers are the Parliamentary reports, not 
even in the attenuated form in which they are given in many of the 
Tory organs, and in all the so-called leading Liberal papers with 
the commendable exception of one or two of the principal provincial 
journals. For this abstention the average man is certainly not to 
be blamed, the attempt if it may even be dignified by the name of 
an attempt to pack into a couple of columns reports of discussions 
ranging over a wide variety of subjects, and lasting perhaps some 
eight hours, merely resulting in a blurred impression that conveys 
little or no meaning to the man who brings no special knowledge to 
their perusal. Even the gentlemen whose mission it is, from the 



Press Gallery of the House of Commons, to provide in narrative form 
a running report of, and commentary on, the debates, seldom succeed 
in conveying an adequate presentment of what has taken place. They 
are hampered, in the first place, by space limitations, and in the 
second and this, perhaps, is the more important consideration of 
the two they are, for the most part, so much more interested in 
personalities than in politics that one unfamiliar with the leading 
personages in Parliament derives neither refreshment nor knowledge 
from their chronicles. So far, therefore, as these two features of the 
daily papers are concerned where they exist at all I agree that 
they play very little part in the political education of newspaper 
readers. There remain, therefore, as educational factors, the leading 
article and the special article, and these, I am convinced, from inquiry 
and observation, exert at the present time as much influence on the 
general reader as they have done at any time in the history of the 
popular press. 

This much admitted, it is not surprising that Liberalism had until 
the recent cataclysmal series of blunders on the part of the Govern- 
ment, become a broken force, incapable of winning fresh converts 
on its own merits, and mainly indebted for the foothold it contrived 
to maintain to the recklessness and costliness of the Ministerial 

For it is my purpose to show that much of the anti-Liberal feeling 
that has distinguished politics in this country for nearly twenty years 
past has been due to the general weakness of the Liberal press, and 
to its very partially representative character. It has, during that 
time, produced no really great journalist, and its conductors have 
been content to shape their line of conduct by a more or less blind 
following of individuals rather than by framing and enforcing a 
distinctive policy. Of course there has been Mr. Stead, and if that 
gentleman had had a less consuming vanity and had not mistaken 
a somewhat crude emotionalism for pure reason, he might and pro- 
bably would have acquired a reputation greater than that of any 
journalist in this country. But Mr. Stead's amazing lack of stability 
amazing considering his tenacity and his perspicuity made him, as 
it has left him, a hot gospeller rather than a journalist-statesman. 
And yet, amid the crowd of more commonplace mortals who have 
conducted newspapers at any time during the past twenty years, 
his is the only name that emerges from the ruck, and in this are to be 
included not only Liberal but Tory editors. 

To journalists themselves other names, and mostly those at the 
head of the leading provincial papers, are familiar, but though the 
heavier metal is undoubtedly to be found in the provinces, there is 
hardly a single provincial editor whose name is known as a political 
guide outside the area of his own town. But while the Conservative 
press has been as barren as its Liberal counterpart, it has, up to quite 


recently, had the good fortune to reflect a fairly constant element in 
politics. This has to a large extent atoned for its commonplaceness 
and its uninspiring character, and has made it a tolerably cohesive 
force in the country. The Liberals, on the other hand, except for the 
Konfliktszeit of 1892-95, three years of pitiful attempt tempered by 
almost ceaseless intrigue of a particularly ignoble sort, have been 
sheep without a shepherd, and as a result the Liberal press has been 
swayed by this group or that, by this individual or the other. What 
has been the consequence ? A press feebly groping for a policy, and 
speaking with many voices a more or less exact reflection indeed of 
what has been found on the front Opposition Bench of Parliament 
itself. It has been Roseberyite, Bannermanite, Morleyite, and even 
Harcourtite, according as these great men took its transient fancy or 
seemed like ' coming out on top.' 

What wonder, then, that save for a few exceptions to be noted 
hereafter, the provincial Liberal press has become feebler and feebler, 
and in the smaller towns has almost ceased to exist, the little pro- 
vincial editor, with no particular ideas of his own, and with no great 
depth of conviction, adapting the course of his paper to the local 
stream of tendency. Thus he saw, until recently, most of the public 
offices, the knighthoods, the * gentry,' and even the shopkeepers 
following the main stream of Toryism, and he damped down his Liberal 
enthusiasm, when he had any, and ambled along with the larger 
crowd. This is a process I have found repeated over and over again 
in the smaller towns, and it has happened not infrequently in many 
of the larger cities. There have, as already stated, been some notable 
exceptions, and these perhaps because they were farther removed 
from the political centre of disturbance have not only escaped the 
indecisions and wobblings of their London contemporaries, but have 
strengthened and solidified their position. Their influence, in con- 
sequence, is immeasurably greater than that of the more pretentious 
London papers. 

At their head must still be placed the Manchester Guardian, the 
vitality of which enabled it to emerge successfully from the well-nigh 
disastrous situation it created for itself owing to its attitude over the 
South African war. I cannot, of course, pretend to say how far this 
attitude injured its financial prosperity ; but that it, for a time, almost 
completely nullified its former great political influence is certain. It 
now stands admittedly at the head of the press of the Midlands, alike 
in influence and in circulation, and if it were possible to transplant it 
bodily from Manchester to London with the remodelling of certain 
news features necessitated by the change of locus London Liberalism 
would be greatly the gainer. That Manchester has not been wholly 
lost to Liberalism is due to the Guardian, and it will,^no doubt, when 
the country has been given the opportunity of expressing its judgment 
at the polls on that virtuous record of the Government which is tne 


object of such smug self-complacency to Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, 
become once more the authoritative voice of that long discredited 
* Manchesterthum ' that we had all thought had become a bygone. 

It is less easy to award second place to the few remaining Liberal 
provincial journals of note. Of first-class importance there are only 
two the Liverpool Post and the Glasgow Herald though the Dundee 
Advertiser, the solitary exponent of Liberalism of any note for the 
whole of the north and east of Scotland, and the Sheffield Inde- 
pendent remain sturdily Radical, even if their influence is not 

But it is in the old provincial homes of Liberalism that the defec- 
tion of its press is most marked, a defection that must be pronounced 
to be due, not so much to a real decline in Liberal convictions on 
the part of the people, as to the rise of the halfpenny press. Up to 
twenty years ago, when the daily press was as decorous as it was 
often dull, the methods that have revolutionised our newspapers 
would have made no successful appeal to the country at large. Their 
authors were probably at that time in short frocks or knickerbockers, 
and the bulk of their present readers were also either in the nursery 
or attending one of the lower standards of the Board Schools. It 
would be foolish, however, to rail against this product of a shallow, 
hurried, and unthinking age. The most noteworthy fact in con- 
nection with it is that the conductors and proprietors of Liberal news- 
papers should have been entirely blind to the growth of this army of 
potential newspaper readers, people with just sufficient education 
to enable them to find interest in the events of the day, but with 
intelligences so untrained that the only means of reaching them was 
to make strident appeal to their emotions, through the medium of 
platitude and claptrap. Fixity of views, honesty of purpose, mattered 
little. What this great uninformed public wanted first of all was 
news in brief compass, and more attractively presented than by the 
older-fashioned papers. No doubt this represented the measure of 
the intentions of the earliest promoters of the halfpenny press, and 
they were probably driven in spite of themselves to the propagation 
of political views and opinions not always the same views and opinions, 
but varying according to the signs or mood of the moment. And 
meanwhile the more sedate and undoubtedly duller Liberal press, 
alike in London and the provinces, refused to change its methods, 
and left the guidance of this amorphous and undisciplined army to 
its not too scrupulous opponents, until it found itself threatened with 
extinction ; until in some cases individual newspapers realised that it 
was too late even for a change of methods, and they had perforce to 
consent to absorption or destruction. This want of alertness led in 
the provinces to more than one of the large towns being deprived of 
any Liberal journal of a representative character. Newcastle, that 
old pillar of earnest Radicalism, has gone, the Newcastle Daily 


Chronicle having been squeezed out by its younger and more vigorous 
rivals, with the result that, from Glasgow to Bradford, there is no 
representative Liberal daily newspaper. And even in Bradford, 
where the political parties are about equally divided, and in the 
neighbouring town of Leeds, where the Liberals had a not incon- 
siderable majority at the last election, the party press has for some 
time past been steadily losing ground. 

In the Southern and Home counties, local Liberal journalism can 
hardly be said to exist, the long spell of Tory Government having 
driven nearly all the journalistic sheep into the Tory pasture. There 
are towns in the Home Counties of sufficient importance to supporc 
three or four weekly papers and perhaps an evening paper in addition, 
in which the Liberals have no representative organ. No doubt the 
accession of the Liberals to power would bring some of these weaklings 
over to the Liberal side, but the battle that is to bring this about 
has to be fought without their assistance, and for the most part 
against their opposition, although many recent by-elections have 
shown that the electorate is preponderatingly Liberal. 

In the West the situation is even more anomalous. Passing over 
Dorsetshire and Somersetshire, where the sparse and scattered nature 
of the population does not encourage vigorous newspaper develop- 
ment, we find the same Liberal journalistic inertia in Devon and 
Cornwall, the most influential papers being Conservative in com- 
plexion, although the Parliamentary representation of both counties 
is overwhelmingly Liberal. This may seem to tell against my con- 
tention that newspaper readers are influenced by the views expressed 
in the journals they read. To this I would reply that, as almost 
invariably happens, the readers have run ahead of their guides for 
the many reasons that have contributed to weaken the present Govern- 
ment in the country, and, with the timidity that distinguishes most 
newspaper conductors, these latter are listening for the fully ex- 
pressed voice of the country before changing their policy. If, there- 
fore, as seems tolerably assured, the Liberal party emerges trium- 
phantly from the next trial of strength at the polls, it will owe little 
to the work and influence of the provincial Liberal press. 

In London, the relative disproportion of the Liberal and Con- 
servative daily papers alike in numbers, in influence, and in cir- 
culation is no less marked. It is clear, indeed, that in spite of the 
manifest revival of Liberalism in London, its representative press 
has dwindled both in magnitude and in importance. The first step 
in the downward path dates, it need hardly be said, from the time of 
the Home Rule split. There were at that period only two Liberal 
morning newspapers, the Daily News and the Daily Chronicle, and as 
each took a different course on the Irish question, cohesion disap- 
peared from the ranks of the party. Neither, it is true, has been 
consistent in its attitude on Irish affairs, and each has, at different 


times, displayed a suspicious alacrity to declare Home Rule outside 
practical politics. 

But in this matter, the two papers may be said to have reflected 
rather than formed the opinions held by the rank and file of the 
party. At the present moment, though the Daily News refuses to 
admit that the question can be shelved, and makes periodical excur- 
sions into the open for the purpose of waving the tattered green flag, 
and reminding non-Home Rulers that it has its eye on them, its 
earnestly meant attempts to restrict the Liberal party to a drab and 
sad type of Nonconformity and a nebulous but flighty form of Radical- 
Socialism cannot be said to have been conspicuously successful. 
But, notwithstanding a decided narrowness of outlook, and an over- 
ready disposition to ban all who cannot ' bolt the bran ' of its peculiar 
type of Liberalism, the Daily News has, since it reduced its price to a 
halfpenny, grown greatly in circulation, and possibly also in influence. 
It does not represent the Liberal party as a whole ; it would be difficult, 
for example, for a Churchman, or a Liberal Roman Catholic and 
there are still some left to find in it other than many causes of offence ; 
but it is a gospel to a large section of Liberalism, and the party 
would be in exceedingly bad case without it. In its recent growth 
among the more earnest sections of Liberals, it has no doubt been 
largely assisted by the newest development of the Daily Chronicle, 
which in reducing its price to a halfpenny has relegated the serious 
consideration of political and social questions to a very secondary 
place. But where the Chronicle condescends to politics it certainly 
makes a wider appeal to the party than its principal rival, and if 
it did not overload its columns with the more meretricious side of 
journalism ; if, in fact, it did not give up to things of no importance 
about as large a proportion of its space as the Daily News devotes to 
a narrow sectarianism, there is still no reason why it should not 
become in London the really representative Liberal newspaper. 
There remains, among the fighting forces of London Liberalism, the 
Morning Leader, which, with a good circulation in the North, East, 
and South-Eastern districts of the metropolis, has built up a new 
class of Liberal or, rather, Radical readers. But no one of the 
three papers in question can be said to make a strong, or even 
a direct, appeal to the party at large, and they offer but a pitiful 
contrast to the eight Conservative morning papers of the capital, 
which, whatever their differences on points of detail in Conservative 
policy, are united in support of the Unionist party. 

In evening newspapers the contrast is equally marked, for while 
the two halfpenny organs, the Star and the Echo, compare more than 
favourably in conduct and influence with the two halfpenny Tory 
papers, the Evening News and the Sun, the only heavier ordnance 
the Liberals can oppose to the Globe, the Pall Mall Gazette, the 
St. James's Gazette, and the Evening Standard is the Westminster Gazette. 


Here, however, the superiority on the Tory side is merely in point of 
numbers. Needless to refer to the enormous value of Mr. Gould's 
cartoons, which, though limited in range of ideas, have been justly 
described as one of the best assets of the Liberal party. Nothing, 
indeed, could better attest to the dearth of real political cartoonists 
on both sides than the fact that among the lesser men who essay this 
form of pictorial art there is not one who comes within measurable 
distance of the Westminster cartoonist. One feels that the only man 
who could approach him, if he possessed the same political insight, 
is Mr. E. J. Reed. But while the latter gentleman is a born artist, 
Mr. Gould is a born politician, in whose equipment art occupies but 
a secondary place. It would, however, be unjust to attribute the 
entire political value of the Westminster to its cartoons. Partly, no 
doubt, as a result of the uncertainty that has characterised the leading 
columns of its two principal morning contemporaries for some years 
past, the Westminster has come, in the minds of the more influential 
section of Liberals, to represent a much-needed moderation of tone 
and constancy of views. In its treatment of those questions con- 
cerning which the Liberal party is of at least two minds, the West- 
minster acts consistently as Moderator, holding the balance very 
skilfully ; and while it did not, during the progress of the South African 
war, escape the reproach of being labelled ' Pro-Boer ' by the Imperialist 
Liberals, and while it is occasionally suspected by the other side of 
being out of sympathy with the advanced programme, the fact remains 
that it is perhaps the only representative Liberal paper with which all 
sections practically agree, and if it were on occasion a little more 
vigorous, more outspoken, when a strong line is indicated, it might 
easily become a great fighting force. $ 

In Sunday and weekly papers and reviews, published in London, 
an even greater disparity exists than in the case of the daily press. 
Of the distinctively weekly papers, those, that is to say, giving a 
survey of the week's news, not one represents the Liberal party since 
the defection of Lloyd's, which, though under the same proprietor- 
ship as the Daily Chronicle, has become the advocate of a somewhat 
tepid form of Unionism. In purely Sunday papers also the only one 
out of some half dozen which the Liberals can claim is the Sunday 
Sun, and this is neither very robust in its politics nor very lively as 
to the rest of it. The remainder, even if not very intelligent in their 
politics, are either whole-heartedly or flippantly Tory. 

Of the weekly reviews, but one The Speaker flies the Liberal 
colours, and that one, though it contains much admirable work, 
makes a deliberate appeal only to a section, and that a rather narrow 
section, of the party. It is, indeed, mainly distinguished by a youthful 
and not very enlightened intolerance of all who do not share its 
somewhat doctrinaire views. Some advantage has undoubtedly 
accrued to the Liberal party from the revolt of the Spectator against 
VOL. LVI No. 330 p 


Chamberlainism, and if, as some people profess to think probable, 
there should follow on the next'general election a regrouping of parties, 
in which the Free Trade and more Progressive Unionists should decide 
to act with the Moderate Liberals, the Spectator \vould no doubt 
become once more a recognised exponent of broad Liberal views. 

The foregoing survey shows, I think, that the unquestioned con- 
version of the majority of the country as testified by the past score 
or so of by-elections owes very little to the Liberal press. In number 
of newspapers and in circulation the Tory press has, as I have shown, 
an immense and unquestioned superiority, and yet the Conservatives 
are as surely slipping back as the Liberals are pressing forward. What 
use does the Liberal press throughout the country propose to make 
of the powerful weapon that is ready forged to its hand ? Is there 
to be found the same want of cohesion, the same ridiculous bickering 
over non-essentials that has marked the conduct of Liberal newspapers 
and reviews for nearly a score of years past ? If so, it is certain that 
the country's support of the party will not be of long duration, and 
the next state of Liberal journalism, and therefore of Liberalism, 
will be even worse than that which it has just managed to survive. 
If Liberal journalism is to flourish, if it is to serve as something more 
than a subsidised vehicle for the dissemination of particular and 
peculiar views, it must regain the confidence of those upon whom ife 
must at all times be largely dependent for its prosperity. This it 
can only do by the cultivation of greater moderation of tone, which 
need entail no sacrifice of its principles, and by disabusing the com- 
mercial class of the erroneous idea a very fixed one in the minds of 
many that Liberalism means spoliation and disturbance of trade. 

No doubt the amenities which are now so conspicuously wanting 
in a considerable section of the Liberal press will come more easily 
and more naturally when the positions of the two political forces are 
reversed. It may then be possible for one or two of its principal 
representatives, who have converted the practice of proscription into 
a fine art, to exercise a wider tolerance and to give themselves a much- 
needed respite from banning those with whom they do not at the 
moment happen to agree on all points of Liberal policy. That would 
go a long way towards reassuring the larger public, and so would tend 
to restore to the Liberal press the authority, stability, and prosperity 
it has so largely lost during the years it has been wandering in the 

W. J. FlSHHR, 

Late Editor of the ' Daily Chi onisle.' 



' I 

WHEN we cast a glance upon the immense progress realised by all the 
exact sciences in the course of the nineteenth century, and when we 
closely examine the character of the conquests achieved by each of 
them, and the promises they contain for the future, we cannot but 
feel deeply impressed by the idea that mankind is entering a new era 
of progress. It has, at any rate, before it all the elements for opening 
such a new era. In the course of the last hundred or hundred-and- 
twenty years, entirely new branches of knowledge, opening unexpected 
vistas upon the laws of development of human society, have grown 
up under the names of anthropology, prehistoric ethnology, the 
history of religions, the origin of institutions, and so on. Quite new 
conceptions about the whole life of the universe were developed by 
pursuing such lines of research as molecular physics, the chemical 
structure of matter, and the chemical composition of distant worlds. 
And the traditional views about the position of man in the universe, 
the origin of life, and the life of the mind were entirely upset by the 
rapid development of biology, the reappearance of the theory of 
evolution, and the growth of physiological psychology. Merely ^to 
say that the progress of science in each of its branches, excepting 
perhaps astronomy, has been greater during the last century than 
during any three or four centuries of the Middle Ages or of antiquity 
would not be enough. We have to return 2300 years back, to 
the glorious times of the philosophical revival in ancient Greece, in 
order to find another period of sudden awakening of the intellect and 
of sudden bursting forth of knowledge which would be similar to what 
we have witnessed lately. And yet, at that early period of hunven 
history, man did not enter into possession of all those wonders of indus- 
trial technique which have been arrayed lately in our service. A youthful, 
daring spirit of invention, stimulated by the discoveries of science, 
and taking its flight to new, hitherto inaccessible regions, has increased 
our powers of creating wealth, and reduced the effort required 
for rendering well-being accessible to all to such a degree that no 

20v r 2 


Utopian of antiquity, or of the Middle Ages, or even of the earlier 
portion of the nineteenth century, could have dreamt anything of the 
sort. For the first time in the history of civilisation, mankind has 
reached a point where the means of satisfying its needs are in excess of 
the needs themselves. To impose, therefore, as has hitherto been 
done, the curse of misery and degradation upon vast divisions of 
mankind, in order to secure well-being for the few, is needed no more : 
well-being can be secured for all, without overwork for any. We are 
thus placed in a position entirely to remodel the very bases and con- 
tents of our civilisation provided the civilised nations find in their 
midst the constructive capacities and the powers of creation required 
for utilising the conquests of the human intellect in the interest of all. 

Whether our present civilisation is vigorous and youthful enough 
to undertake such a great task, and to bring it to the desired end, we 
cannot say beforehand. But this is certain, that the latest revival of 
science has created the intellectual atmosphere required for calling 
such forces into existence. Reverting to the sound philosophy of 
Nature which remained in neglect from the times of ancient Greece, 
until Bacon began to wake it up from its long slumber, modern science 
has now worked out the elements of a philosophy of the universe, 
free of supernatural hypotheses and the metaphysical ' mythology of 
ideas,' and at the same time so grand, so poetical and inspiring, so 
full of energy, and so much breathing freedom, that it certainly is 
capable of calling into existence the necessary forces. Man need no 
more clothe his ideals of moral beauty, and of a better organised 
society, with the garb of superstition : he can free himself from those 
fears which had hitherto damped his soaring towards a higher life. 

One of the greatest achievements of modern science was, of course, 
that it firmly established the idea of indestructibility of energy 
through all the ceaseless transformations which it undergoes in the 
universe. For the physicist and the mathematician this idea became 
a most fruitful source of discovery. It inspires, in fact, all modern 
research. But its philosophical import is equally great. It accustoms 
man to conceive the life of the universe as a never-ending series of 
transformations of energy, among which the birth of our planet, its 
evolution, and its final, unavoidable destruction and reabsorption in 
the great Cosmos are but an infinitesimally small episode a mere 
moment in the life of the stellar worlds. The same with the researches 
concerning life. The recent studies in the wide borderland, where the 
simplest life-processes in the lowest fungi are hardly distinguishable if 
distinguishable at all from the chemical redistribution of atoms which 
is always going on in the more complex molecules of matter, have 
divested life of its mystical character. At the same time, our concep- 
tion of life has been so widened that we grow accustomed now to 
conceive all the agglomerations of matter in the universe solid, 
liquid, and gaseous as living too, and going through those cycles of 


evolution and decay which we formerly attributed to- organic beings 
only. Then, reverting to ideas which were budding once in ancient 
Greece, modern science has retraced step by step that marvellous 
evolution which, after having started with the simplest forms, hardly 
deserving the name of organisms, has gradually produced the infinite 
variety of beings which now people and enliven our planet. And, by 
making us familiar with the thought that every organism is to an 
immense extent the produce of its own surroundings, biology has 
solved one of the greatest riddles of Nature its harmony, the adapta- 
tions to an end which it offers us at every step. Even in the most 
puzzling of all manifestations of life, the domain of feeling and thought, 
in which human intelligence has to catch the very processes by means 
of which it succeeds in retaining and co-ordinating the impressions re- 
ceived from without even in this domain, the darkest of all, science 
has already caught a glimpse of the mechanism of thought by follow- 
ing the lines of research indicated by physiology. And finally, in the 
vast field of human institutions, habits and laws, superstitions, beliefs 
and ideals, such a flood of light has been thrown by the anthropolo- 
gical schools of history, law, and economics that we can already main- 
tain positively that ' the greatest happiness of the greatest number ' 
is not a mere Utopia. It is an ideal worth striving for, since it is 
proved that the prosperity and happiness of no nation or class could 
ever be based, even for the duration of a few generations, upon the 
degradation of other classes, nations, or races. 

Modern science has thus achieved a double aim. On the one side 
it has given to man a great lesson of modesty. It has taught him to 
consider himself as but an infinitesimally small particle of that im- 
mense whole the universe. It has driven him out of his narrow, 
egotistical seclusion, and has dissipated the self-conceit under which 
he considered himself the centre of the universe and the object of a 
special attention in it. It has taught him that without the whole 
the 'ego' is nothing: that our 'I' cannot even come to a self-definition 
without the ' Thou.' l But at the same time science has taught man 
how powerful mankind is in its progressive march ; and it has given 
him the means to enlist in his service the unlimited energies of Nature. 

So far, then, as science and philosophy go, they have given us 
both the material elements and the freedom of thought which are 
required for calling into life the reconstructive forces that may lead 
mankind to a new era of progress. There is, however, one branch of 
knowledge which lags behind. It is ethics. A system of ethics worthy 
of the present scientific revival, which would take advantage of all the 
recent acquisitions for revising the very foundations of morality on a 
wider philosophical basis, and produce a higher moral ideal, capable of 
giving to the civilised nations the inspiration required for the great 

1 Schopenhauer, The Foundations of Morals, section 22. All the paragraph is of 
the greatest beauty. Also Feuerbach and others. 


task that lies before them such a system has not yet been produced. 
But it is called for on all sides, with an emphasis the sense of which 
cannot be misunderstood. A new, realistic moral science is the need 
of the day a science as free of superstition, religious dogmatism, and 
metaphysical mythology as modern cosmogony and philosophy already 
are, and permeated at the same time with those higher feelings and 
brighter hopes which a thorough knowledge of man and his history 
can breathe into men's breasts. 

That such a science is possible lies beyond any reasonable doubt. 
If the study of Nature has yielded the elements of a philosophy which 
embraces the life of the Cosmos, the evolution of the living beings, 
the laws of psychical activity, and the development of society, it 
must also be able to give us the rational origin and the sources of the 
moral feelings. And it must be able to indicate and to reinforce 
the agencies which contribute towards the gradual rising of these 
feelings to an always greater height and purity, without resorting 
for that purpose to blind faith or to religious coercion. If a closer 
acquaintance with Nature was able to infuse into the minds of the 
greatest naturalists and poets of the nineteenth century that lofty 
inspiration which they found in the contemplation of the universe 
if a look into Nature's breast made Goethe live only the more intensely 
in the face of the raging storm, the calm mountains, the dark forest 
and its inhabitants why should not a widened knowledge of man and 
his destinies be able to inspire the poet in the same way ? And when 
the poet has found the proper expression for his sense of communion 
with the Cosmos and his unity with fellow-men, he becomes capable 
of inspiring thousands of men with the highest enthusiasm. He 
makes them feel better, and awakens the desire of being better still. 
He produces in them those very ecstasies which were formerly con- 
sidered as belonging exclusively to the province of religion. What 
are, indeed, the Psalms, which are described as the highest expression 
of religious feeling, or the more poetical portions of the sacred books 
of the East, but attempts to express man's ecstasy at the contemplation 
of the universe the first awakening of his sense of the poetry of 
Nature ? 


The need of realistic ethics was felt from the very dawn of the 
present scientific revival, when Bacon, at the same time as he laid 
the foundations of the present advancement of sciences, indicated 
also the main outlines of empirical ethics, perhaps with less thorough- 
ness than this was done by his followers, but with a width of con- 
ception which was not much improved upon in later days. The best 
thinkers of the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries continued 
on the same lines, endeavouring to work out systems of ethics, indepen- 
dent of the imperatives of religion. Hobbes, Locke, Shaftesbury and 


Paley, Hutcheson, Hume, and Adam Smith boldly attacked the pro- 
blem on all sides. They indicated the empirical sources of the moral 
sense, and in their determinations of the moral ends they mostly stood 
on the same empirical ground. They combined in varied ways the 
' intellectualism ' and utilitarianism of Locke with the ' moral sense ' 
and sense of beauty of Hutcheson, the * theory of association ' of 
Hartley, and the ethics of feeling of Shaftesbury. Speaking of the 
ends of ethics, some of them already mentioned the ' harmony ' 
between self-love and regard to fellow-men which took such a develop- 
ment in the nineteenth century, and considered it in connection with 
Hutcheson's ' emotion of approbation,' or the ' sympathy ' of Hume 
and Adam Smith. And finally, if they found a difficulty in explaining 
the sense of duty on a rational basis, they resorted to the early influences 
of religion, or to some inborn sense, or to some variety of Hobbes' 
theory of law, considered as the educator of the otherwise unsociable 
primitive savage. The French Encyclopaedists and materialists dis- 
cussed the problem on the same lines, only insisting more on self-love, 
and trying to find the synthesis of the opposed tendencies of human 
nature in the educational influence of the social institutions, which 
must be such as to favour the development of the better sides of human 
nature. Rousseau, with his rational religion, stood as a link between 
the materialists and the intuitionists, and by boldly attacking the 
social problems of the day he won a wider hearing than any one of 
them. On the other side, even the utmost idealists, like Descartes 
and his pantheist follower Spinoza, even Leibnitz and the ' tran- 
scendentalist-idealist ' Kant, did not trust entirely to the revealed 
origin of the moral ideas, and tried to give to ethics a broader founda- 
tion, even though they would not part entirely with an extra-human 
origin of the moral law. 

The same endeavour towards finding a realistic basis for ethics 
became even more pronounced in the nineteenth century, when 
quite a number of important ethical systems were worked out on the 
different bases of rational self-love, love of humanity (Auguste Comte, 
Littre, and a great number of minor followers), sympathy and intel- 
lectual identification of one's personality with mankind (Schopen- 
hauer), utilitarianism (Bentham and Mill), and evolution (Darwin, 
Spencer, Guyau), to say nothing of the negative systems, originating 
in La Rochefoucauld and Mandeville and developed by Nietzsche and 
several others, who tried to establish a higher moral standard by their 
bold attacks against the current half-hearted moral conceptions, and 
by a vigorous assertion of the supreme rights of the individual. 

Two of the nineteenth-century ethical systems Comte's posi- 
tivism and Bentham's utilitarianism exercised, as is known, a deep 
influence upon the century's thought, and the former impressed 
with its own stamp all the scientific researches which make the glory 
of modern science. They also gave origin to a variety of sub-systems, 


so that most modern writers of mark in psychology, evolution, or 
anthropology have enriched ethical literature with some more or less 
original researches, sometimes of a high standard, as is the case with 
Feuerbach, Bain, Leslie Stephen, Wundt, Sidgwick, and several 
others. Numbers of ethical societies were also started for a wider 
propaganda of empirical ethics. At the same time, an immense move- 
ment, chiefly economical in its origins, but eminently ethical in its 
substance, was born in the first half of the nineteenth century and 
spread very widely under the names of Fourierism, Saint- Simonism, 
and Owenism, and later on of international socialism and anarchism. 
This movement was an attempt on a great scale, supported by the 
working men of all nations, not only to revise the very foundations of 
the current ethical conceptions, but also to introduce into real life 
the conditions under which a new page in the ethical life of mankind 
could be opened. 

It would seem, therefore, that since such a number of rationalist 
ethical systems have grown up in the course of the last two centuries, 
it is impossible to approach the subject once more without falling into 
a mere repetition or a mere recombination of fragments of already 
advocated schemes. However, the very fact that each of the main 
systems produced in the nineteenth century the positivism of Comte, 
the utilitarianism of Bentham and Mill, and the altruist evolutionism 
of Darwin, Spencer, and Guyau has added something important to 
the conceptions worked out by its predecessors proves that the matter 
is far yet from being exhausted. Even if we take the last three 
systems only, we cannot but see that Spencer failed to take advantage 
of some of the hints which the evolutionist philosopher finds in the 
short but very suggestive sketch of ethics given by Darwin in The 
Origin of Man ; while Guyau introduced into morals such an important 
element as that of an overflow of energy in feeling, thought, or will, 
which had not been taken into account by his evolutionist pre- 
decessors. If every new system thus contributes some new and 
valuable element, this very fact proves that ethical science is not yet 
constituted. In fact, it never will bs, because new factors and new 
tendencies will always have to be taken into account in proportion 
as mankind advances in its mental evolution. 

That, at the same time, none of the ethical systems which were 
brought forward in the course of the nineteenth century has satisfied, 
be it only the educated fraction of the civilised nations, hardly need be 
insisted upon. To say nothing of the numerous philosophical works 
in which dissatisfaction with modern ethics has been expressed, 2 the 
best proof of it is the decided return to idealism which we see in all 
civilised nations, and especially in France. The absence of any 
poetical inspiration in the positivism of Littre and Herbert Spencer, 

J Sufficient to name here the critical and historical works of Paulsen, Wundt, 
Leslie Stephen, Guyau, Lichtenberger, Fouillee, De Roberty, and so many others. 


and their incapacity to cope with the great problems of our present 
civilisation ; the striking narrowness of views concerning the social 
problem which characterises the chief philosopher of evolution, 
Spencer ; nay, the repudiation by the latter-day French positivists of 
the humanitarian theories which distinguished the eighteenth- century 
Encyclopaedists all these have helped to create a strong reaction in 
favour of a sort of mystico-religious idealism. The ferocious inter- 
pretation of Darwinism, which was given to it by the most prominent 
representatives of the evolutionist school, without a word of protest 
coming from Darwin himself for the first twelve years after the appear- 
ance of his Origin of Species, gave still more force to the reaction 
against ' naturism ' we are told by Fouillee. And, as always happens 
with every reaction, the movement went far beyond its original pur- 
pose. Beginning as a protest against some mistakes of the naturalist 
philosophy, it soon became a campaign against positive knowledge 
altogether. The ' failure of science ' was triumphantly announced. 
The fact that science is revising now the ' first approximations ' con- 
cerning life, psychical activity, evolution, the structure of matter, 
and so on, which were arrived at in the years 1856-G2, and which must 
be revised now in order to reach the next, deeper generalisations 
successive approximations being the very essence of the history of 
sciences this fact was taken advantage of for representing science 
as having failed in its attempted solutions of all the great problems. 
A crusade in favour of intuitionism and blind faith was started accord- 
ingly. Going back first to Kant, then to Schelling, and even to Lotze, 
numbers of writers have been preaching lately ' spiritualism,' ' inde- 
terminism,' ' apriorism,' ' personal idealism,' and so on proclaiming 
faith as the very source of all true knowledge. Religious faith itself 
was found insufficient. It is the mysticism of St. Bernard or of the 
neo-Platonians which is now in demand. ' Symbolism,' ' the subtle,* 
' the incomprehensible ' are sought for. Even the belief in the 
mediaeval Satan was resuscitated. 3 

It hardly need be said that none of these currents of thought ob- 
tained a widespread hold upon the minds of our contemporaries ; but 
we certainly see public opinion floating between the two extremes 
between a desperate effort, on the one side, to force oneself to return 
to the obscure creeds of the Middle Ages, with their full accompani- 
ment of superstition, idolatry, and even magic ; and, on the opposite 
extreme, a glorification of ' a-moralism ' and a revival of that worship 
of ' superior natures,' now invested with the names of ' supermen ' or 
' superior individualisations,' which Europe had lived through in the 
times of Byronism and early Romanticism. 

It appears, therefore, more necessary than ever to see if the present 

3 See A. Fouillee, Le Mouvcment idtaliste et la Reaction contre la Science 
positive, 2nd edition ; Paul Desjardins, Le Devoir present, which has gone through 
five editions in a short time ; and many others. 


scepticism as to the claims of science in ethical questions is well 
founded, and whether science does not contain already the elements 
of a system of ethics which, if it were properly formulated, would 
respond to the needs of the present day. 


The limited success of the various ethical systems which were 
born in the course of the last hundred years shows that man cannot 
be satisfied with a mere naturalistic explanation of the origins of the 
moral instinct. He means to have a justification of it. Simply to 
trace the origin of our moral feelings, as we trace the pedigree of some 
structural feature in a flower, and to say that such-and-such causes 
have contributed to the growth and refinement of the moral sense, 
is not enough. Man wants to have a criterion for judging the moral 
instinct itself. Whereto does it lead us ? Is it towards a desirable 
end, or towards something which, as some critics say, would only 
result in the weakening of the race and its ultimate decay ? If struggle 
for life and the extermination of the physically weakest is the law of 
Nature, and represents a condition of progress, is not then the cessation 
of the struggle, and the ' industrial state ' which Comte and Spencer 
promise us, the very beginning of the decay of the human race as 
Nietzsche has so forcibly concluded ? And if such an end is un- 
desirable, must we not proceed, indeed, to a re-valuation of all those 
moral * values ' which tend to reduce the struggle, or to render it less 
painful ? The main problem of modern realistic ethics is thus, as 
has been remarked by Wundt in his Ethics, 4 to determine, first of all, 
the moral end in view. But this end or ends, however ideal they may 
be, and however remote their full realisation, must belong to the 
world of realities. They must be born out of it, and remain accessible 
to our senses, because modern man will not be taken in by mere words 
or by a metaphysical substantiation of his own desires. The end of 
morals cannot be ' transcendental,' as the idealists desire it to be : it 
must be real. 

When Darwin threw into circulation the idea of ' struggle for 
existence,' and represented this struggle as the mainspring of progres- 
sive evolution, he agitated once more the great old question as to the 
moral or immoral aspects of Nature. The origin of the conceptions 
of good and evil, which had exercised the best minds since the times 
of the Zend Avesta, was brought once more under discussion with a 
renewed vigour, and with a greater depth of conception than ever. 
Nature was represented by the Darwinists as an immense battlefield 
upon which one sees nothing but an incessant struggle for life and an 

4 W. Wundt, Ethics, English translation in three volumes, by Professor Titchener, 
Prof. Julia Gulliver, and Prof. Margaret Washburn, New York and London (Swan 
Sonnenschein), 1897. 

extermination of the weak ones by the strongest, the swiftest, and the 
cunningest : evil was the only lesson which man could get from Nature. 
These ideas, as is known, became very widely spread. But if they are 
true the evolutionist philosopher has to solve a deep contradiction, 
which he himself has introduced into his philosophy. He cannot 
deny that man is possessed of a higher conception of ' good/ and that 
a faith in the gradual triumph of the good principle is deeply seated in 
human nature, and he has to explain this conception and this faith. 
He cannot be lulled into indifference by the Epicurean hope, expressed 
by Tennyson that ' somehow good will be the final goal of ill.' Nor 
can he represent to himself Nature, ' red in tooth and claw,' at strife 
everywhere with the good principle the very negation of it in every 
living being and yet this good principle triumphant in the long run. 
He must explain this contradiction. But if he maintains that the 
only lesson which Nature gives to man is one of evil, then he neces- 
sarily has to admit the existence of some other, extra-natural, or 
supra-natural influence which inspires man with conceptions of 
' supreme good,' and guides human development towards a higher 
goal. And in this way he nullifies his own attempt at explaining 
evolution by the action of natural forces only. 

In reality, however, things do not stand so badly as that for the 
theory of evolution. The above interpretation of Nature is not 
supported by fact. It is incomplete, one-sided, and consequently 
wrong, and Darwin himself indicated the other aspect of Nature in 
a special chapter of The Origin of Man. There is, he pointed out, in 
Nature itself, another set of facts, parallel to those of mutual struggle, 
but having a quite different meaning : the facts of mutual support 
within the species, which are even more important than the former, 
on account of their significance for the welfare of the species and its 
maintenance. This extremely important idea, to which, however, 
most Darwinists paid but little attention, I attempted further to 
develop a few years ago, in a series of essays originally published in 
this Review, and in which I endeavoured to bring into evidence the 
immense importance of Mutual Aid for the preservation of both the 
animal species and the human race, and still more so for progressive 
evolution. 5 Without trying to minimise the fact that an immense 
number of animals live either upon species belonging to some lower 
division of the animal kingdom, or upon some smaller species of the 
same class as themselves, I indicated that warfare in Nature is chiefly 
limited to struggle between different species ; but that within each 
species, and within the groups of different species which we find 
living together, the practice of mutual aid is the rule, and therefore 
this last aspect of animal life plays a far greater part in the economy 
of Nature than warfare. It is more general, not only on account of 

5 Nineteenth Century, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894, and 1896 ; Mutual Aid : A Factor 
of Evolution, London (Heinemana), 2nd edition, 1904. 


the immense numbers of sociable species, such as the ruminants, 
many rodents, many birds, the ants, the bees, and so on, which do 
not prey at all upon other animals, and the overwhelming numbers of 
individuals which all sociable species contain, but also because nearly 
all carnivorous and rapacious species, and especially those of them 
which are not in decay owing to a rapid extermination by man or to 
some other cause, also practise it to some extent. 

If mutual support is so general in Nature, it is because it offers 
such immense advantages to all those animals which practise it best 
that it entirely upsets the balance of benefits which otherwise might 
be derived from a superior development of beak and claw. It repre- 
sents the best arm in the great struggle for life which continually has 
to be carried on in Nature against climate, inundations, storms, frost, 
and the like, and continually requires new adaptations to the ever- 
changing conditions of existence. Therefore, taken as a whole, 
Nature is by no means an illustration of the triumph of physical 
force, swiftness, cunningness, or any other feature useful in warfare. 
It teems, on the contrary, with species decidedly weak, badly pro- 
tected, and all but warlike such as the ant, the bee, the pigeon, the 
duck, the marmot, the gazelle, and so on which, nevertheless, 
succeed best in the struggle for life, and, owing to their sociability and 
mutual protection, even displace much more powerfully-built com- 
petitors and enemies. And, finally, we can take it as proved that while 
struggle for life leads indifferently to both progressive and regressive 
evolution, the practice of mutual aid is the agency which always 
leads to progressive development. It is the main factor of progressive 

Being thus necessary for the preservation, the welfare, and the 
progressive development of every species, the mutual aid instinct 
has become what Darwin described as ' a permanent instinct,' which 
is always at work in all sociable animals, and especially in man. Having 
its origin at the very beginnings of the evolution of the animal world, 
it is certainly an instinct as deeply seated in animals, low and high, 
as the instinct of maternal love ; perhaps even deeper, because it is 
present in such animals as the molluscs, some insects, and most 
fishes, which hardly possess the maternal instinct at all. Darwin 
was therefore quite right in considering that the instinct of ' mutual 
sympathy ' is more permanently at work in the sociable animals 
than even the purely egotistic instinct of direct self-preservation. 
He saw in it, as is known, the rudiments of the moral conscience. 

But this is not all. In the same instinct we have the origin of 
those feelings of benevolence and of that partial identification of the 
individual with the group which become the starting-point of all the 
higher ethical feelings. It is upon this foundation that the higher 
sense of justice, or equity, is developed. When we see that scores of 
thousands of different aquatic birds come together for nesting on the 


ledges of the ' birds' mountains,' without fighting for the best positions 
on these ledges ; that several flocks of pelicans will keep by the side of 
each other in their separate fishing grounds ; and that hundreds of species 
of birds and mammals come in some way to a certain arrangement 
concerning their feeding areas, their nesting places, their night quarters, 
and their hunting grounds, and respect these arrangements, instead of 
continually fighting for upsetting them ; or when we see that a young 
bird which has stolen some straw from another bird's nest is attacked 
by all the birds of the same colony, we catch on the spot the very 
origin and the growth of the sense of equity and justice in the animal 
societies. And finally, in proportion as we advance in every class of 
animals towards the higher representatives of that class (the ants, 
the wasps, and the bees amongst the insects, the cranes and the 
parrots amongst the birds, the higher ruminants, the apes and man 
amongst the mammals), we find that the identification of the individual 
with the interests of his group, and eventually sacrifice for it, grow in 
proportion thus revealing to us the origin of the higher ethical 
feelings. It thus appears that not only Nature does not give us a 
lesson of a-moralism, which need be corrected by some extra-natural 
influence, but we are bound to recognise that the very ideas of bad and 
good, and man's abstractions concerning ' the supreme good ' and ' the 
lowest evil,' have been borrowed from Nature. They are reflections 
in the mind of man of what he saw in Nature, and these impressions 
were developed during his life in society into conceptions of right and 
wrong. However, they are not merely subjective appreciations. 
They contain the fundamental principles of equity and mutual sym- 
pathy, which apply to all sentient beings, just as mechanical truths 
derived from observation on the surface of the earth apply to matter 
everywhere in the stellar spaces. 

It is self-evident that a similar conception must also apply to the 
evolution of the human character and human institutions. True 
that up to the present time the history of mankind, notwithstanding 
the extreme wealth of materials accumulated lately, has not been 
told as the development of some fundamental ethical tendency. 
But it is already possible now to conceive it as the evolution of 
an ethical factor which consists, as I have tried to prove, in the 
ever-present tendency of men to organise the relations within the tribe, 
the village community, the commonwealth, on the bases of mutual 
aid ; these forms of social organisation becoming in turn the bases of 
further progress. We certainly must abandon the idea of repre- 
senting human history as an uninterrupted chain of development 
from the pre-historic Stone Age to the present time. Just as in 
the evolution of the animal series we consider the insects, the 
birds, the fishes, the mammals, as separate lines of development, so 
also in human history we must admit that evolution was started 
several times anew in India, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, 


and finally in Western Europe, beginning each time with the primitive 
tribe and the village community. But if we consider each of these 
lines separately, we certainly find in each of them, and especially in 
the development of Europe since the fall of the Roman Empire, a 
continual widening of the conception of mutual support and mutual 
protection, from the clan to the tribe, the nation, and finally to the 
international union of nations. And, on the other side, notwithstand- 
ing the temporary regressive movements which occasionally take 
place, even in the most civilised nations, there is at least among the 
representatives of advanced thought in the civilised world and in the 
progressive popular movements the tendency of always widening 
the current conception of human solidarity and justice, and of con- 
stantly refining the character of our mutual relations, as well as the 
ideal of what is desirable in this respect. The very fact that the 
backward movements which take place from time to time are con- 
sidered by the enlightened portion of the population as mere temporary 
illnesses of the social organism, the return of which must be prevented 
in the future, proves that the average ethical standard is now higher 
than it was in the past. And in proportion as the means of satisfying 
the needs of all the members of the civilised communities are improved, 
and room is prepared for a still higher conception of justice for all, 
the ethical standard is bound to become more and more refined. 
In scientific ethics man is thus in a position not only to reaffirm his 
faith in moral progress, which he obstinately retains, notwithstanding 
all pessimistic lessons to the contrary, he sees that this belief, 
although it had only originated in one of those artistic intuitions 
which always precede science, was quite correct, and is confirmed now 
by positive knowledge. 


If the empirical philosophers have hitherto failed to state this 
steady progress which, speaking metaphorically, we can describe as 
the leading principle of evolution, the fault lies to a great extent with 
our predecessors, the speculative philosophers. They have so much 
denied the empirical origin of man's moral feelings ; they have gone 
into such subtle reasonings in order to assign a supernatural origin to 
the moral sense ; and they have so much spoken about ' the destina- 
tion of man,' the ' why of his existence,' and ' the aim of Nature,' 
that a reaction against the mythological and metaphysical conceptions 
which had risen round this question was unavoidable. Moreover, the 
modern evolutionists, having established the wide part which certainly 
pertains in the animal world to a keen struggle between different 
species, could not accept that such a brutal process, which entails so 
much suffering upon sentient beings, should be the unravelling of a 
superior plan ; and they consequently denied that any ethical principle 


could be discovered in it. Only now that the evolution of species, 
races of men, human institutions, and ethical ideas has been proved to 
be the result of natural forces, has it become possible to study all the 
factors which were at work, including the ethical factor of mutual 
support and growing sympathy, without the risk of falling back into a 
supra-natural philosophy. But, this being so, we reach a point of 
considerable philosophical importance. 

We are enabled to conclude that the lesson which man derives 
both from the study of Nature and his own history is the permanent 
presence of a double tendency towards a greater development, on 
the one side, of sociability, and, on the other side, of a consequent 
increase of the intensity of life, which results in an increase of happiness 
for the individuals, and in progress physical, intellectual, and moral. 
This double tendency is a distinctive characteristic of life altogether. 
It is always present, and belongs to life, as one of its attributes, 
whatever aspects life may take on our planet or elsewhere. And this 
is not a metaphysical assertion, or a mere supposition. It is an 
empirically discovered law of Nature. It thus appears that science, 
far from destroying the foundations of ethics as it is so often 
accused of doing gives, on the contrary, a concrete content to the 
nebulous metaphysical presumptions which were current in transcen- 
dental ethics. As it goes deeper into the life of Nature, it gives to 
evolutionist ethics a philosophical certitude, where the transcendental 
thinker had only a vague intuition to rely upon. 

There is still less foundation in another continually repeated 
reproach namely, that the study of Nature can only lead us to 
recognise some cold mathematical truth, but that such truths have 
little effect upon our actions. The study of Nature, we are told, can 
at the best inspire us with the love of truth ; but the inspiration for 
higher emotions, such as that of ' infinite goodness,' must be sought 
for in some other source, which can only be religion. So we are told, 
at least ; but, to begin with, love of truth is already one half :the better 
half of all ethical teaching. As to the conception of good and the 
admiration for it, the ' truth ' which we have just mentioned is certainly 
an inspiring truth, of which Goethe, with the insight of his pantheistic 
genius, had already guessed the philosophical value, 6 and which 
certainly will some day find its expression in the poetry of Nature and 
give it an additional humanitarian touch. Moreover, the deeper we 
go into the study of the primitive man, the more we realise that it 
was from the life of animals with whom he stood in close contact, 
even more than from his own congeners, that he learned the first 
lessons of valour, self-sacrifice for the welfare of the group, unlimited 
parental love, and the advantages of sociability altogether. The con- 
ceptions of ' virtue ' and ' wickedness ' are zoological, not merely 
human conceptions. As to the powers which ideas and intellectually 

* Eckermann, Ge.iprii-ch, 1848, vol. iii. 219, 221. 



conceived ideals exercise upon the current moral conceptions, and 
how these conceptions influence in their turn the intellectual aspect 
of an epoch, this subject hardly need be insisted upon. The intel- 
lectual evolution of a given society may take at times, under the 
influence of all sorts of circumstances, a totally wrong turn, or it may 
take, on the contrary, a high flight. But in both cases the leading 
ideas of the time will never fail deeply to influence the ethical life. 
The same applies to a great extent to the individual. Most certainly, 
ideas are forces, as Fouillee puts it ; and they are ethical forces, if the 
ideas are correct and wide enough to represent the real life of Nature 
not one of its sides only. The first step, therefore, towards the elabora- 
tion of a morality which should exercise a lasting influence is to base 
it upon an ascertained truth ; and this is so much so, that one of the 
main causes opposed now to the appearance of a complete ethical 
system, corresponding to the present needs, is the fact that the science 
of society is still in its infancy. Having just completed its storing of 
materials, sociology is only beginning to investigate them with the 
view to ascertaining the probable lines of a future development. 

The chief demand which is addressed now to ethics is to do its best 
to find in philosophy, and thus to help mankind to find in its 
institutions, a synthesis not a compromise between the two sets of 
feelings which exist in man : those which induce him to subdue other 
men, in order to utilise them for his individual ends, and those which 
induce human beings to unite and to combine for attaining common 
ends by common effort : the first answering to that fundamental 
need of human nature struggle, and the second representing another 
equally fundamental tendency the desire of union and sympathy. 
Such a synthesis is of absolute necessity, because the civilised man of 
to-day, having no settled conviction on this point, is paralysed in 
his powers of action. He cannot admit that a struggle to the knife 
for supremacy, carried on between individuals and nations, should 
be the last word of science ; he does not believe, at the same time, in 
the solution of brotherhood and resigned self-abnegation which Chris- 
tianity has offered us for so many centuries, but upon which it has 
failed to establish a commonwealth ; and he has no faith either in the 
solution offered by the communists. To settle, then, these doubts, and 
to aid mankind in finding the synthesis between the two leading 
tendencies of human nature, is the chief duty of ethics. For this 
purpose we have earnestly to study what were the means resorted to 
by men at different periods of their evolution, in order so to direct 
the individual forces as to get from them the greatest benefit for the 
welfare of all, without paralysing them. And we have to define the 
tendencies in this direction which exist at the present moment 
the rough sketches, the timid attempts which are being made, or even 
the potentialities concealed in modern society, which may be utilised 
for finding that synthesis. And then, as no new move in civilisation 


has ever been made without a certain enthusiasm being evoked in 
order to overcome the first difficulties of inertia and opposition, it is 
the duty of the new ethics to infuse in men those ideals which 
would move them, provoke their enthusiasm, and give them the 
necessary forces for accomplishing that synthesis in real life. 

This brings us to the chief reproach which has always been made 
for the last two hundred years to all empirical systems of ethics. Their 
conclusions, we are told, will never have the necessary authority for 
influencing the actions of men, because they cannot be invested with 
the sense of duty, of obligation. It must be understood, of course, 
that empirical morality has never claimed to possess the imperative 
character which belongs to prescriptions that are placed under the 
sanction of religious awe, and of which we have the prototype in the 
Mosaic Decalogue. True, that Kant thought of his ' categorical 
imperative ' (' so act that the maxim of thy will might serve at the 
same time as a principle of universal legislation ') that it required no 
sanction whatever for being universally recognised as obligatory ; it 
was, he maintained, a necessary form of reasoning, a ' category ' of 
our intellect, and it was deduced from no utilitarian considerations. 
However, modern criticism, beginning with Schopenhauer, has shown 
that this was an illusion. Kant has certainly failed to prove why it 
should be a duty to follow his injunction. And, strange to say, the 
only reason why his ' imperative ' might recommend itself to general 
acceptance is still its eudaemonistic character, its social utility, although 
some of the best pages which Kant wrote were precisely those in which 
he strongly objected to any considerations of utility being taken as the 
foundation of morality. After all, he produced a beautiful panegyrip 
of the sense of duty, but he failed to give to this sense any other 
foundation than the inner conscience of man and his desire of retaining 
a unity between his intellectual conceptions and his actions. 

Empirical morality does not claim anything more. It does not 
pretend in the least to find a substitute for the religious imperative 
expressed in the words ' I am the Lord.' But it must also be said in 
justification that the painful discrepancy which exists between the 
ethical prescriptions of the Christian religion and the life of societies 
professing to belong to it a contradiction which surely shows no signs 
of abatement and, on the other side, the criticism that has been 
made so successfully since the times of the Reform, concerning the 
efficiency of morality based upon fear, have deprived the above 
reproach of its value. However, even empirical morality is not entirely 
devoid of a sense of conditional obligation. The different feelings 
and actions which are usually described since the times of Auguste 
Comte as ' altruistic ' can easily be classed under two different headings. 
There are actions which may be considered as absolutely necessary, 
once we choose to live in society, and to which, therefore, the name of 
' altruistic ' ought never to be applied : they bear the character of 

VOL. LVI No. 330 Q, 


reciprocity, and they are as much in the interest of the individual as 
any act of self-preservation. And there are, on the other hand, those 
actions which bear no character of reciprocity, and which, although 
they are the real mainsprings of moral progress, can certainly have no 
character of obligation attached to them. A great deal of confusion 
arises from not having sufficiently kept in view this fundamental 
distinction ; but this confusion can easily be got rid of. 

Altogether it is quite evident that the functions of ethics are different 
from those of law. Moral science does not even settle the question 
whether legislation is necessary or not. It stands above that. It 
soars on a higher level. We know, indeed, ethical writers and these 
were not the least influential in the early beginnings of the Reform 
movement who denied the necessity of any legislation and appealed 
directly to human conscience. The function of ethics is not even so much 
to insist upon the defects of man, and to reproach him with his ' sins,' 
as to act in the positive direction, by appealing to man's best instincts. 
It determines, of course, or rather it sums up, the few fundamental 
principles without which neither animals nor men could live in societies; 
but then it appeals to something superior to that : to love, courage, 
fraternity, self-respect, concordance with one's ideal. It tells to man, 
that if he desires to have a life in which all his forces, physical, intellec- 
tual, and emotional, should find a full exercise, he must once and for 
ever abandon the idea that such a life is attainable on the path of dis- 
regard for others. It is only through establishing a certain har- 
mony between the individual and all others that an approach to such 
complete life will be possible ; and it adds : ' Look at Nature itself ! 
Study the past of mankind ! They will prove to you that so it is in 
reality.' And when the individual, for this or that reason, hesitates 
in some special case as to the best course to follow, ethics comes to 
his aid and indicates how he would like himself to act, if he placed 
himself in the place of those whom he is going to harm. 7 But even 
then true ethics does not trace a stiff line of conduct, because it is 
the individual himself who must weigh the relative value of the different 
motives affecting him. There is no use to recommend risk to one who 
can stand no reverse, or to speak of an old man's prudence to the 
young man full of energy. He would give the reply the profoundly 
true and beautiful reply which Egmont gives to old Count Oliva's 
advice in Goethe's drama and he would be quite right : ' As if 
spurred by unseen spirits, the sunhorses of time run with the light cart 
of our fate ; and there remains to us only boldly to hold the reins 
and lead the wheels away here, from a stone on our left, there 
from upsetting the cart on our right. Whereto does it run ? Who 
knows ? Can we only remember wherefrom we came ? ' ' The 

7 ' It will not tell him, " This you must do," but inquire with him, " What is it 
that you will, in reality and definitively not only in a momentary mood ? " ' 
(F. Paulsen, System der Ethik, 2 vols., Berlin 1896, vol. i. p. 20.) 


flower must bloom,' as Guyau says, 8 even though its blooming meant 

And yet the main purpose of ethics is not to advise men separately. 
It is rather to set before them, as a whole, a higher purpose, an ideal 
which, better than any advice, would make them act instinctively 
in the proper direction. Just as the aim of intellectual education 
is to accustom us to perform an enormous number of mental opera- 
tions almost unconsciously, so is the aim of ethics to create such an 
atmosphere in society as would produce in the great number, 
entirely by impulse, those actions which best lead to the welfare of 
all and the fullest happiness of every separate being. This is the 
final aim of morality ; but to reach it we must free our morality of 
the self-contradictions which it contains. A morality of charity, 
compassion, and pity necessarily breeds a deadly contradiction. It 
starts with the assertion of full equity and justice, or of full brother- 
hood. But then it adds that we need not worry our minds with either. 
The one is unattainable. As to the brotherhood of men, which is the 
fundamental principle of all religions, it must not be taken too closely 
a la lettre : that was a mere fafon de parler of enthusiastic preachers. 
' Inequality is the rule of Nature,' we are told by religious people, 
and with regard to this special lesson Nature, not religion, is the proper 
teacher. But when the inequalities in the modes of living of men 
become too striking, and the sum total of produced wealth is so divided 
as to result in the most abject misery for a very great number, then 
compassion for the poor, and sharing with them what can be shared 
without parting with one's privileged position, becomes a holy duty. 
Such a morality may certainly be prevalent in a society for a time, 
or even for a long time, if it has the sanction of religion interpreted 
by the reigning Church. But the moment that man begins to consider 
the prescriptions of religion with a critical eye, and requires a reasoned 
conviction instead of mere obedience and fear, an inner contradiction 
of this sort cannot be retained any longer. It must be abandoned 
the sooner the better. Inner contradiction is the death- sentence of 
all ethics. 

A most important condition which modern morality is bound to 
satisfy is that it must not aim at fettering the powers of action of the 
individual, be it for so high a purpose as the welfare of the common- 
wealth or even the species. Wundt, in his excellent review of the 
ethical systems, makes the remark that from the eighteenth-century 
period of enlightenment they became, nearly all of them, individualistic. 
This is, however, true but to some extent, because the rights of the 
individual were asserted with great energy in one domain only in 

8 M. Guyau, A Sketch of Morality independent of Obligation or Sanction, trans, 
by Gertrude Kapteyn, London (Watts), 1898. 

Q 2 


economics. And even here individual freedom remained, both in 
theory and in practice, more illusory than real. As to the other 
domains political, intellectual, artistic it may be said that in 
proportion as economical individualism was asserted with more 
emphasis, the subjection of the individual to the war machinery 
of the State, the system of education, the intellectual atmosphere 
required for the support of the existing institutions, and so on was 
steadily growing. Even most of the advanced reformers of the present 
day, in their forecasts of the future, reason under the presumption 
of a still greater absorption of the individual by the society to which 
he will belong. This tendency necessarily provoked a revolt, to which 
Godwin at the beginning of the century, and Spencer towards its 
end, already gave expression, and which brought Nietzsche to conclude 
that all morality must be thrown overboard if it can find no better 
foundation than the sacrifice of the individual in the interests of the 
race. This revolt is perhaps the most characteristic feature of our 
epoch, the more so as its mainspring is not so much in an egoistic 
striving after economical independence (as was the case with the 
eighteenth- century individualists, with the exception of Godwin) 
as in a passionate desire of intellectual freedom for working out a new, 
better form of society, in which the welfare of all would become a 
groundwork for the fullest development of the personality. 9 

The want of development of the personality and the lack of indi- 
vidual creative power and initiative are certainly one of the chief 
drawbacks of the present period. Economical individualism has 
not kept its promise : it did not result in any striking development 
of individuality. As of yore, sociological creation is extremely slow, 
and imitation remains the chief means for spreading progressive 
innovations in mankind. Modern nations repeat the history of the 
barbarian tribes and the mediaeval cities when they reproduced one 
after the other, in a thousand copies, the same political, religious, and 
economical movements. Whole nations have appropriated to them- 
selves lately, with an astounding rapidity, the results of the West 
European industrial and military civilisation ; and in these unrevised 
new editions of old types we see best how superficial that civilisa- 
tion is, how much of it is mere imitation. It is only natural, therefore, 
to ask ourselves whether the current moral teachings are not instru- 
mental in maintaining that imitative submission. Did they not too 
much want to make of man the ' ideational automaton ' of Herbart, 
who is plunged into contemplation, and fears above all the storms 
of passion ? Is it not time to vindicate the rights of the real man, full 

Wundt expresses himself in these words : ' For, unless all signs fail, a revolution 
of opinion is at present going on, in which the extreme individualism of the enlighten- 
ment is giving place to a revival of the universalism of antiquity, supplemented by a 
better notion of the liberty of human personality an improvement that we owe to 
individualism.' (Ethics, iii. p. 34 of English translation ; p. 459 of German original.) 


of vigour, who is capable of really loving what is worth being loved 
and hating what deserves hatred, apart from the personalities in which 
the lovable or the spiteful has been incarnated the man who is 
always ready to enter the arena and to fight for an ideal which ennobles 
his love and justifies his antipathies ? From the times of the philo- 
sophers of antiquity there was a tendency to represent ' virtue ' as 
a sort of ' wisdom ' which induces the wise man to ' cultivate the 
beauty of his soul,' rather than to join ' the unwise ' in their struggles 
against the evils of the day. Later on that virtue became ' non- 
resistance to evil,' and for many centuries in succession individual, 
personal salvation, coupled with resignation and a passive attitude 
towards evil, was the essence of Christian ethics; the result being 
the culture of a monastic indifference to social good and evil, and the 
elaboration of an intricate argumentation in favour of ' virtuous 
individualism.' There is no doubt, however, that a reaction begins 
now, and the question is asked whether a passive attitude in the 
presence of evil does not merely mean moral cowardice ? whether, 
as was taught by the Zend Avesta, an active struggle against Ahriman 
as not the first condition of virtue ? 10 We need moral progress, but 
without moral courage no moral progress is possible. 

Such are some of the main currents of thought concerning the 
ethical need of the day which can be discerned amid the present 
confusion. All of them converge towards one leading idea. What 
is wanted now is a new comprehension of morality : in its funda- 
mental principle, which must be broad enough to infuse new life in 
our civilisation, and in its methods, which must be freed from both 
the transcendental survivals and the narrow conceptions of philistine 
utilitarianism. The elements for such a comprehension are already 
at hand. The importance of mutual aid in the evolution of the 
animal world and human history may be taken, I believe, as a posi- 
tively established scientific truth, free of any hypothetical admission. 
We may also take next, as granted, that in proportion as mutual aid 
becomes more habitual in a human community, and so to say instinc- 
tive, this very fact leads to a parallel development of the sense of 
justice, with its necessary accompaniment of equity and equalitarian 
self-restraint. The idea that the personal rights of every individual 
are as unassailable as the same rights of every other individual grows 
in proportion as class distinctions fade away ; and it becomes esta- 
blished as a matter of fact when the institutions of a given community 
have been altered permanently in this sense. A certain degree of 
identification of the individual with the interests of the group to which 
it belongs has necessarily existed since the very beginning of sociable 
life, and it is apparent even among the lowest animals. But in 
proportion as relations of equalitarian justice are solidly established 

18 C. P. Thiele, Geschichte der Eeligion im Alter thiim, German translation by 
G. Gehrich. Gotha, 1903, vol. ii. pp. 163 sq. 


in the human community, the ground is prepared for the further and 
the more general development of those more refined relations, under 
which man so well understands and feels the feelings of other men 
affected by his actions that he refrains from offending them, even 
though he may have to forsake on that account the satisfaction of 
some of his own desires, and when he so fully identifies his feelings 
with those of the others that he is ready to sacrifice his forces for their 
benefit without expecting anything in return. These are the feelings 
and the habits which alone deserve the name of Morality, properly 
speaking, although most ethical writers confound them, under the 
name of altruism, with the mere sense of justice. 

Mutual Aid Justice Morality are thus the consecutive steps of an 
ascending series, revealed to us by the study of the animal world and 
man. It is not something imposed from the outside ; it is an organic 
necessity which carries in itself its own justification, confirmed and 
illustrated by the whole of the evolution of the animal kingdom, 
beginning with its earliest colony-stages, and gradually rising to our 
civilised human communities. Speaking an imaged language, it is 
a general law of organic evolution, and this is why the senses of Mutual 
Aid, Justice, and Morality are rooted in man's mind with all the force 
of an inborn instinct the first being evidently the strongest, and the 
third, which is the latest, being the least imperative of the three. Like 
the need of food, shelter, or sleep, these instincts are self-preservation 
instincts. Of course, they may sometimes be weakened under the 
influence of certain circumstances, and we know numbers of such 
instances, when a relaxation of these instincts takes place, for one 
reason or another, in some animal group, or in a human community ; 
but then the group necessarily begins to fail in the struggle for life ; 
it marches towards its decay. And if it perseveres in the wrong 
direction, if it does not revert to those necessary conditions of survival 
and of progressive development, which are Mutual Aid, Justice, and 
Morality then the group, the race, or the species dies out and dis- 
appears. It did not fulfil the necessary condition of evolution and it 
must go. 

This is the solid foundation which science gives us for the elabora- 
tion of a new system of ethics and its justification ; and, therefore, 
instead of proclaiming ' the bankruptcy of science,' what we have 
now to do is to examine how scientific ethics can be built up out of 
the elements which modern research, stimulated by the idea of 
evolution, has accumulated for that purpose. 





EVERY lover of the open air, who follows Nature through sunshine 
and rain, has found some spot which is dearer to him and carries a 
deeper meaning than any other place on earth. From the earliest 
green of the swelling bud to the last parched winter leaf, that clings 
to sheltered oak or beech until the memory of a year ago is swept 
away by the gales of March, the colours seem brighter there than else- 
where, and the little confidences with which Nature rewards his con- 
stancy become more tender and intimate. 

It may be an open moorland, robed in summer in its mantle of 
imperial purple and gay only in the unprofitable riches of golden- 
spangled furze ; or a treeless down, sprinkled with delicate blue hare- 
bells, that darkens under no sorrow heavier than the passing shadow 
of a wind-driven cloud ; or even a melancholy fen, where the grey 
heron stands motionless for hours by the brink of a muddy ditch, and 
cold blue sedges lean trembling before the storm. But whether it be 
mountain, woodland, or broad plain, if he have not caught the spirit 
of his bit of countryside he has missed one of the finer joys of life. 
Though he may have travelled the whole world over, and viewed the 
wonders of another hemisphere, he is like one who, after a thousand 
gay romances, has found no abiding love, or amidst a teeming humanity 
has made no enduring friendship. 

The spot I love the most is within easy walking distance from my 
home, and thither my errandless footsteps always wander by some 
indescribable attraction. 

A narrow byway cuts through a sandy hollow, and then warily 
descends aslant the steep hillside. Again it rises over a gentle knap, 
a sort of outwork of the range, and from this lower summit a broad 
valley lies full in view. 

The land below is rich in green pastures, sparingly intermixed with 
square arable fields, in which, after a yellow stubble, the furrows turn 
up a light brown behind the plough. Everywhere there is a soil so 
deep that no outcropping rock can shame us with the nakedness of 
its poverty by wearing holes in its imperishable garment of verdure 
decked with flowers. The fields are small ; therefore it is a country 



of hedgerows, with stately elms and here and there an oak standing 
along the banks and casting mysterious shade upon the dark water 
that often lies in the ditches below. Yet many of the fields have 
once been smaller still ; and then a gentle ridge and hollow, covered 
with grass of a deeper green, and a row of tall, spreading trees show 
where a hedge and ditch have at some time been. 

A spirit of tranquil plenty and contentment lightly rests upon the 
whole valley, filling every nook and corner, like sunshine of a cloud- 
less summer noon. 

At early morning, and again of an afternoon, a dairyman comes 
down to the pasture and throws open the gate. You can hear his 
voice calling to the herd, and perhaps the barking of his dog. The 
patient red and white milch-cows deliberately obey, and slowly pass 
out of sight. Yet now and again there is a glimpse of bright colour 
as they wind along the lane. Sometimes a wagon, laden with shining 
tins and laughing folk, rattles to the meadow instead ; and then the 
cattle gather in a shady corner and are milked in the field. All the 
rest of the day, whether they stand on the bright after-grass that 
comes after the hay or he in a sea of glistening buttercups, they are 
left to ruminate in peace. Starlings congregate around them. Wag- 
tails run quite close to catch the flies. Through all the summer 
months nesting wood-pigeons, out of sight amidst foliaged-curtained 
branches or from the dark ivy, that has run up from the hedge and 
overgrown so many a stalwart trunk, make known their satisfac- 
tion with the unceasing monotony of their one never-changing 

There are places a thousand times more lonely and less populated 
than this quiet vale. 

Every mile or so, a square church- tower and a cluster of thatched 
gables rise above or peep between the elms, and a film of grey smoke 
tells a tale of hearths unseen. Yet a few steps from the highroad, 
not even the solitary woodland can offer a more beautiful seclusion. 
This is the greatest charm of this country of old hedgerows. 

They are beautiful, these hedgerows. Oftentimes neglected and left 
uncut for years, they grow into a wild profusion. Though they keep 
out the sun, at least they offer shelter from the winter wind. Black- 
thorn and wrinkled maple, hawthorn and hazel, straight sapling of 
grey ash, and frequent suckers from the long roots of the elm trees, all 
push each other and intermingle their leaves of various shapes and 
colours. The honeysuckles, hoping to flower unpicked, climb high 
out of reach. The briars hang down and offer their sweet pink flowers. 
Brambles thrust themselves and straggle everywhere. Here is a mass 
of clematis ; and there white bryony, in close company with the 
broad, glossy, heart-shaped leaves of the black, meets in a tangle 
with the little purple, yellow-eyed flowers of the woody nightshade. 
From the snowy blossom of the blackthorn upon a leafless hedge, 


through all the fragrant summer to the frost, when fieldfares come in 
a flock to clear away the blood-red haws in a day, the hedgerow is a 
glory and delight. 

At last, in winter, or at least when the sap is low, a new figure is 
seen in the landscape. 

The hedger comes in his gloves and long leathern gaiters. He clears 
away the useless stuff ' trumpery,' he calls it chooses with care the 
likeliest growing wood for ' plashers,' with here and there a straight 
sapling to grow into a tree, stands high upon the bank, and chops 
down all the rest. With a deft blow of his hook he cuts the ' plasher ' 
almost through, so that it seems wonderful that it can live. He lays 
it, and pegs it down; builds up the bank with sods, and fills the 
new-made ditch with thorns, lest cattle should come and trample 
upon his work. So the old hedge is turned to account. Nothing is 
wasted. There is wood to burn, and fagots for the baker's oven. 
The younger hazel goes for sticks for next year's peas ; the straight 
ashen poles to fence sweet-smelling ricks. Even the ' trumpery ' will 
serve as staddle to make a dry foundation for some future mow. 

This, no doubt, is the true harvest of the hedgerow ; but it is not 
the harvest which gave a title to this sketch. 

It was autumn, and all the corn was hauled. Upon many of the 
squares of golden stubble droves of pigs were running to pick up the 
ears missed by the rake, and the ripe grains that had fallen when 
the sheaves were pitched. On others the plough was already at work. 
The ploughman shouted to his team as he turned under the hedgerow 
to come back upon the other side. The rooks, that are so wary of 
the harmless rambler like myself, rose as he drew near, circled within 
easy gunshot above his head, spread their black wings, and lightly 
dropped upon the fresh- turned furrow behind his back. From beyond 
the hedge came the sound of the woodman's axe, for the September 
gales, where the ditch lay to windward, had here and there torn up 
an ancient elm by the roots, and he was lopping off the branches in 
readiness for the timber wagon to haul away the trunk. 

I was in the valley walking down a broad green lane. On either 
hand were signs of the declining year. Where the wild roses grew the 
briars were decked with crimson hips ; and, although a solitary flower 
might still be seen, the honeysuckles had changed to clusters of 
reddening berries. The hazel leaves were yellow, and the maple bush 
was turning to old gold. A few sparse leaves and a sprinkling of apples 
brighter than guineas still hung upon the crab. Surprised by the 
quietness of my approach, a startled blackbird rushed out of the 
ditch. A little later my eye caught sight of a wren, creeping like a 
mouse and hiding out of sight behind the old level plashing upon the 
bank ; and all the while I had the company of a flock of linnets, that 
waited till I came, flew out of the hedge with a whirring of wings, 


alighted only a few paces in front, all on one bush, and waited 

Far away down the lane something moved. 

For a moment it was impossible to be certain, and yet surely a 
living thing had stirred in the distant shadow of the hedgerow. 

Then, just beyond a clump of dark gorse, I could distinguish the 
stooping figure of an old woman. Her clothes also were old and 
had taken on autumnal hues. Faded with the summer sun and 
weather-stained by rain, her skirt and shawl, whatever their original 
colours, were in keeping with the landscape, and mellow and unobtru- 
sive as the russet-grey on the back and wings of a song-thrush. Some- 
times she crept down into the ditch; then came out into the lane 
and stooped to take something from the ground, which for the time 
being she put into her apron. At last she stood up and shook one of 
the guinea-laden branches. She was gathering crab-apples. 

What could she want with them ? 

The uses of the crab, forgotten long ago in the village, are known 
only to the lover of old customs. Verjuice is but a name, pomatum 
almost an unread line in the dictionary. Could this old crone, whose 
face was brown and wrinkled like the shell of a walnut, season the 
dryness of a parish loaf and secretly comfort her elderly heart with 
some old-world bowl, in which a roasted crab should bob against her 
lips, 'and on her withered dew-lap pour the ale ' ? She looked old 
enough even for that. On the ground beside her was a sack half filled. 

Imagination refused to picture an orgie so extensive. 

She was the first to speak. In the rural parts of this West Country 
people do not meet and pass without a word. 

* Nice weather,' said she. 

* Beautiful weather,' said I. 

' Zo 'tis,' said she, and stepped aside to pour a stream of little 
yellow, rosy apples out of her apron into the open mouth of the sack. 

' But what be about then, mother 1 What good is it to pick up 
such stuff as that ? ' 

' Lauk-a-massy, master,' she laughed, ' I do often zay to myzelf 
this time o' .year I be but like the birds that do pick a liven off the 

' But what do you do with them ? ' 

' Zell 'em.' 

' And what do they do with them ? ' 

' Pay vor 'em.' 

In spite of rags and poverty she was a humorous old soul. How- 
ever she presently put a sudden check upon her mirth, and answered 
with quiet civility. 

' They don't use 'em here,' she explained. ' The man that do 
buy 'em o' I do zend 'em to London. I do believe they do use 'em 
to gie a bitter flavour to a jelly. I really do.' 


Then she chuckled. The thing seemed so amusing. She was 
laughing at an unknown world, distant and strange, where people pay 
such heed to the flavour of a jelly. 

At the mention of London the recollection of two boys from 
Pimlico, whom I had met in a lane about three months before, came 
into my mind. Philanthropy had sent them down here, but until 
then they had never seen a green field. Their inferences were strange 
enough. I wondered what impressions the mind of this old woman 
of the hedgerows would gather if suddenly she could be transplanted 
to a city street. 

' Do you live near here ? ' 

' I do live across to Sutton,' she answered, ' in the little old cottage 
that do lie under the hill.' 

' I suppose you've lived there a long time ? ' 

' All my life, as mid zay,' she laughed. ' I wur out to sarvice 
dree year ; but I wur married when I wur nineteen. I wur brought 
to the little cottage then, an' vrom thik day to theas I ha'n't never 
laid head to piller under another roof.' 

It was by the merest accident, and only for the sake of hearing 
her talk, that I remarked : ' Then for certain you can't have been to 
London to look after the crab-apples.' 

In a moment her good-humour vanished. The wrinkles deepened, 
and the weather-beaten, upright furrows between her brows. Her 
eyes regarded me sharply and with suspicion. 

' Who put 'ee up vor to come here an' ax me 'bout that, then ? ' 
she inquired, angrily. 

I asserted my innocence. I pointed out that after all the idea of 
a visit to London had been rendered incredible, if not impossible, by 
her statement that she had never been away for a night from the 
little cottage under the hill. 

She scanned me attentively, was satisfied with the explanation, 
and consoled. 

' Ah, well ! They do laugh at I about that, an' I thought mayhap 
you knowed,' she cried merrily. ' I have a-bin to London. An' 
I ha'n't never a-bin away vrom home. An' I baint no liar for all 

She delighted in this quibbling manner of the clowns of the six- 
teenth century. But old-fashioned West Country folk still love to 
riddle in their speech. She stood expectant, eager for an invitation 
to go on, but fully determined to loiter. 

' I can't make that out,' said I. 

* An' never went inzide a house,' said she. 
I only shook my head. 

* Nor zet voot in a street.' 

She paused ; then raised her voice in the excitement of success, 
' Nor so much as laid out a penny-piece vor a bit or a zup.' 


It was no good. I implored her to relieve me from further mental 
effort by telling me without delay ; but, once started, her story became 
a monologue an epic of the ' little old cottage that do lie under the 
hill.' For the emotions which prompted her to undertake that 
memorable journey were still warm in her heart, and they carried 
her back even to the days of early motherhood under that little ridge 
of brown thatch. 

' Wull, then, master,' she cried, ' I'll just tell ee how it all corned 
about. My man an' I we dragged up a terr'ble long family, we did. 
Massy 'pon us ! Things wur different in them days. We did all goo 
out in groun' to work then, wimmin an' men. An' need o' it too. 
There werden much wheaten bread vor poor volks them days. The 
wimmin vokes an' maidens did all goo out a bit to leasey a'ter the 
wheat wur a-hauled. We did carr' the corn down to mill. But la ! 
The little grist-mill down to brook, he is but vower walls an' a hatch- 
hole now. He vailed in years agone. Miller couldn' make a liven, an' 
zo he gi'ed un up. 'Tis the big mills, zo the tale is, do zell zo low. 
But I tell 'ee what, master, vokes wur jollier, one wi' another, 
them times than they be now. Ah ! They mid eat better victuals 
nowadays, but there's more pride. They baint zo simple as they 
wur. All they do want now is to save up a vew ha'pence, an' put 
viner clothes to their backs, an' forget who they be.' 

She stopped to laugh. No philosopher ever took a more genial 
view of human folly than this old woman of the hedgerow. 

' But I wur a-gwaine to tell 'ee,' she went on, suddenly remembering 
that the visit to London was the real subject before us. ' Iss. We 
had zixteen, an' reared 'em all but one. Nine o' 'em bwoys, an' all 
growed up tall an' straight as the poplar trees along the churchyard 
wall. Ay, 'twur a many bellies to vill. An' a house o' childern, 
master, is like a nest o' drushes wi' their mouths ever agape. But 
somehow or another God-a-Mighty did send a crust. An' then the 
biggest bwoy growed up to sar a little a bird-kippen, or to drave 
roun' the wold hoss for the chaffcutter or the cider-maken. An' the 
biggest maid did mind the childern for I to go out. An' zo we knocked 
along till the bwoys had a-growed up hardish lads like. An' then there 
wur a rabbit, now an' then. Wull, there wur a rabbit pretty often, on 
along then. An' then there corned a bother. An' two o' 'em, master, 
they had a-tookt the Queen's shillen an' drinked un, an' marched 
off wi' the sergeant wi' the colours in their hats, afore the summons 
wur out. An' they wouldn't none o' 'em bide here in parish. Two 
o' 'em went to furrin parts, but we never heard o' 'em since, an' 
whither they be live or dead is more 'an I can tell. They be all o' 
'em one place or tother, an' I hope they be doen well. An' the 
maidens be all married away. Little Benjamin he wur the last to 
goo. I wur terr'ble sorry, too. But I said : " 'Tis no more 'an a 
brood o' dunnocks, an' when they be vlush they do vly." ' 


She paused again, picked up half a dozen crab-apples, and dropped 
them into her apron. 

' But I wur a-gwaine to tell 'ee,' she quickly resumed. ' Ben- 
jamin's wife she did use to zend a letter, an' one o' the school childern 
did read un out to me. He wur a porter to London, but house rent, 
her zaid, wur most wonderful dear. When I wur out quiet a-picken 
berries, Benjamin wur a'most for ever in my mind. Mus' be up ten 
year agone, an' I carr'd in nineteen peck o' berries. I do mind 'twur 
nineteen peck at tenpence in to factory. I can see the foreman dyer 
now, out in yard a-measuren o' 'em out wi' a peck measure. An' 
the men wur all a-chacklen about the next year's wayzgoose. " What ? 
zaid I, " do 'ee arrange next zummer's holiday afore the winter is 
begun ? " " We be gwaine to London for the day, an' you can 
come too if you be a-minded," zaid he, though to be sure 'twur no 
more 'an a joke. But jus' the very nick o' time the master his own 
zelf corned by ; an' the foreman dyer he up an' laughed. " Here's 
Mary do think to go to London wi' we next zummer." Then they 
did all grin at I. But the master, he said . " How many years have 
'ee brought berries in to I, Mary ? " I zaid : " Tis a score or one-an'- 
twenty, master." Zaid he : " Come an' ax me next zummer-fair, an' 
I'll gie 'ee a ticket, Mary." An' wi' the very zame on he went. 

' I thought a lot about thik ticket. I thought a lot about Ben- 
jamin too. There corned a letter in the spring, that zaid that Ben- 
jamin's wife 'tis his second wife had just a-got her third. I wur 
a-picken watercresses, an' 'twur most wonderful cold. I really do 
believe I veeled wolder them days 'an now I be sich a ancient wold 
'ooman. I do mind I wur wet-vooted an' vinger-cold. That wur 
about the time my wold man wur a-tookt. I thought then I werden 
a-gwaine to live myself zo very long. I did long to zet eyes 'pon 
Benjamin most terr'ble. 

' Wull, when corned zummer-fair I bucked up courage an' in I 
went. There wur the ticket sure 'nough. I carried un home. But 
lauk ! Afore night 'twur the talk o' all the parish, an' folk did run 
in an' out all day long for a week to look at un. An' I got a basket 
o' apples an' a papern bag o' lollipops for the childern to carr' in my 
pocket. An' the neighbours they all zaid : " Do 'ee step in an' pick 
what viewers you do want in the early marnen afore you do start." 
Zo I had a tutty a nosegay, master, bigger ay, zix times zo big 
as the biggest picklen cabbage that ever wur growed. A'most zo 
zoon as the zun wur up I wur 'pon the road. An' 'twur sich a beautiful 
day, wi' a dew like vrost, an' the sky misty clear in the marnen. The 
train did start at vive. But I waited vor un a good half -hour, I did. 
An' on the road the foreman dyer he said : " You do know how to 
act when you do get there, don't 'ee, Mary ? " An' I told un : " My 
son 'ull be at the station for certain sure." 

' But when we got out to London station, master, sure there wur 


niwer sich a hurry-push in theas world afore. Made I that maze- 
headed I wur bound to zit down 'pon the seat to let 'em all pass. 
But zb zoon as one train wur gone thsre wur another. I wur afeard 
o' my life to move, an' there I zot. An' when corned to a lull like, 
I up an' zaid to a porter : " Can 'ee run an' tell young Benjamin 
Bracher that his mother is here ? " Zo he said : " Who ? " An' I 
told un again. " I niwer heard the name," said he. " But he's a 
porter like yourself to London Station." " Which station ? " he axed 
me. " Why, London Station," said I. " Oh, there's vifty London 
stations an' more," said he. " Then how shall I get at un ? " said I. 
" Do 'ee know where he do live ? " he axed me. " 'Tis in Silver 
Street," said I. " There's a hundred Silver Streets," said he ; an' 
then he wur gone. 

' They ha'n't got no time to talk to a body in London. I wur 
afeard to move. I put the basket o' apples under the seat, an' there 
I zot. 

' Come midday the zun did strike down most terr'ble hot, an' 
the place were like a oven. The nosegay o' vlowers beginned to 
quail in my han'. Zoon enough they went off zo dead as hay. Volk 
did stop an' stare at me. The childern did turn their heads. But 
there I zot. 

' I wur afeard o' my life to move. Come a'ternoon I put down 
my han' for my hankercher to mop my face. But the lollipops had 
all a-melted drough the papern bag, an' he wur a-stickt to my pocket. 
Zo I just pat my face wi' my sleeve. An' there I zot. 

' I wur too much to a mizmaze, master, ever to think. You 
niwer zeed sich crowds, an' like a river never stop. There I zot till 
come the cool o' the evenen. An' then the forman dyer corned along. 
An' he hollered to me : " Mary, Mary, you'll be lef behine ! " an' 
he pushed me on by the shoulders afore un, a'most like a wheelbarrer, 
an' bundled me into the train. 

' 'Twur midnight when the train got to Yeovil town, an' I had up 
vive mile to walk. 'Twur daylight when I got home, an' a marnen 
misty-clear like when I started. I took the kay down out o' the 
thatch an' put un in kayhole. But fur the life o' me I couldn' turn 
un, an' I zot down 'pon step an' cried.' 

In a moment she was merry again. 

' Zo now they do ax me if I've a-bin to London,' she said ; ' but 
I do laugh wi' the rest.' 

She told me in quaint phrase all about the harvest of the hedgerows 
how the blackberries were the first to come, with the black-ripe, 
the red, and the green all on one bunch ; and the little pale purple 
flowers still in bloom on the same spray, and looking as fresh as spring 
until the frost. They were sold not by measure but by weight. It 
paid better to pick at a penny when they were plenty than for three- 

halfpence when they were scarce. And the dealer he did come oh, 
yes, he did come in a two-wheeled cart twice a week, every week of 
his life, and weigh and pay no trouble about that, but money in 
hand paid. 

But the privet berries, now, for the dyer, they must wait until 
after the frost, when they would pinch soft between finger and thumb, 
and leave a deep purple stain. And they must be carried to the fac- 
tory in the town. But then there was many a good sort about in 
the village or on the road to give an old woman a lift. 

And sloes must wait for the winter too, and some years they were 
on the blackthorn bushes so thick as ever they could stick. Really 
and truly until it was washed off by the rain they were sometimes 
blue with bloom most beautiful. But they went to the gentry, 
mostly to make sloe gin. She had quite a private connection for the 
sloes, and the same people bought them year after year. 

' Why, you must get quite rich,' said I, ' at this time of the year.' 

* I can knock along,' she boasted, ' wold as I be, an' put away 
a shillen, too. I've a-bin poor all my life. But I've a-bin happy an' 
picked up bread day by day. There is that in the open vields is 
more company to I, 'an a street o' volk I don't know. Zunshine or 
rain, an' all but the hard vrostes, I do enjoy life. I do. But the 
young mus' all run away now-a-days.' 

She paused to think. Then suddenly raised her arms above her 

' God-A'mighty, master ! ' she cried. ' What mus' it be to be 
poor in thik girt place ? * 

Appalled at the thought she turned away and bent over her apple- 
picking. Yet presently she stood up and was merry again. 

I positively suspected that wrinkled old eyelid of a wink. 

' I baint a-gwaine to be buried by the parish,' she laughed, ' not I/ 

But even poverty can keep a good heart under the hedgerows. 




THE aims and objects of the Unionist Free Traders are the subject of 
the following article, and by Unionist Free Traders I mean Conserva- 
tives and Liberal Unionists who mean to remain Unionists as well 
as Free Traders, notwithstanding the fact that for the moment the 
great bulk of the Unionist party has, under the fascination exercised 
by Mr. Chamberlain, given a temporary adhesion to the policy of 
Tariff Kefonn. The public has been puzzled by the spectacle of 
seeing certain Unionist Free Traders in the House of Commons and 
in the country joining the Liberals, and imagine from this that the 
Unionist Free Trade movement is nothing more than a secession 
from the Unionist party to their opponents. Though it is easy to 
see how such a view has arisen, no greater mistake can possibly be 
made than to imagine that the Unionist Free Traders, in creating a 
separate organisation, are merely making a halfway house for them- 
selves in their road to Liberalism. But I shall be asked, if this is so, 
what is the meaning of the Unionist Free Traders leaving the Unionist 
party, and organising themselves for the political battle. My answer 
is that the Unionist Free Traders are organising themselves, not 
because they mean to join the Liberals, but because they mean to do 
nothing of the kind. If they meant to join the Liberals there would 
be no necessity for a separate organisation. Their aims and objects, 
their intentions and their policy can be best expressed by stating 
what they mean to do. In the first place they mean to maintain 
both the Union and Free Trade. Secondly, they mean to remain 
Unionists, and to withstand all attempts on the part of the Protec- 
tionists to force them to give up their Unionism and become Liberals. 
Thirdly, they are determined to organise themselves on a strictly 
Unionist basis ; that is, they mean to keep themselves separate from 
the party of their late opponents, the Liberals, in order that 
when Mr. Chamberlain's policy has been defeated, as it inevitably 
will be, at the next General Election, they may be ready to help 
reconstitute the Unionist party on a Free Trade basis. In a word, 
the Unionist Free Traders mean to make their Free Trade views 
effective, by defeating Protection and by reconstructing the Unionist 


party after that defeat on a Free Trade basis. These aspirations 
will no doubt be declared ridiculous by our opponents, but at any 
rate that is what they are determined to do, and history shows that 
parties quite as small in number as they are have accomplished 
equally important results. 


If these are the aims and objects of the Free Trade Unionist party, 
how are they to be carried out ? The essential point at the present 
moment is, as I have said, for Unionist Free Traders to make their 
Free Trade views effective. Though they are equally determined to 
make their Unionist views effective, there is at the present moment 
little necessity to take special action in regard to the Union, for in 
fact the Union is not in danger. Save for a few exceptional men 
and a few exceptional constituencies, it is admitted by all who think 
clearly and speak honestly that Home Rule is not before the country. 
The Liberal party, as a whole, is utterly tired of the issue, and though 
the Liberal leaders cannot be expected to stand in a white sheet and 
openly abandon Home Rule, it is clear that they have no wish what- 
ever to put it before the cause of Free Trade, or to force any one to 
choose between the Union and Free Trade. No Liberal Home Ruler, 
that is, dreams of declaring that a man cannot be a co-worker with 
Liberals for the cause of Free Trade at the next General Election unless 
he will proclaim himself a Home Ruler as well as a Free Trader. Such 
a coupling of Free Trade and Home Rule is never suggested even by 
the most vehement of Liberals. This willingness on the part of the 
Liberal party to sink Home Rule at the next election is intensified 
by the disillusionment of the Liberals in regard to the Irish party, 
which has been proceeding during the last four or five years, and may 
be said to have become complete during the present Session. The 
Irish Nationalists have proved themselves the remorseless enemies 
of almost everything that the Liberals care for. Again, Liberals well 
understand that, though not openly expressed, the Irish Nationalists 
are Protectionists almost to a man, and would be quite willing, ' when 
the proper time comes,' to do a deal with Mr. Chamberlain in order 
to secure special Protectionist privileges for Ireland. Therefore the 
Unionist Free Traders, while remaining as strong in their support of 
the Union as ever, can feel that the essential thing before them at the 
present time is the making of their Free Trade views effective. Now 
this cannot be accomplished except by opposing Protection under all 
its many aliases ; whether in the crude and open form supported by 
Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Henry Chaplin, and the Tariff Reform League 
or in the apparently milder but in reality equally dangerous form 
advocated by Mr. Balfour. But under a system of Parliamentary 
Government there is only one effective way of opposing Protection, 
and that is to vote for Free Trade. Therefore Unionist Free Traders, 
VOL. LVI No. 330 E 


though the7 are determined to remain Unionists, mean to make their 
Free Trade views effective by voting for Free Trade candidates irre- 
spective of party. They mean, that is, to give the coup de grace to 
Protection. In doing this, however, they need not and do not feel 
that they are putting off that reunion and reconstruction of the 
Unionist party which is one of their essential aims. On the contrary, 
they feel that they can best obtain that object by making the defeat of 
the Protectionist Unionists at the polls at the next General Election 
as complete as possible. It is as certain as anything can be in human 
affairs that if the overthrow of both Chamberlainism and Balfourism 
is as overwhelming as the Unionist Free Traders can, and I believe 
will, render it, an immense number of Conservatives and Liberal 
Unionists who are now under the glamour of Mr. Chamberlain's policy 
will be thoroughly disillusioned. Many of them will be found to have 
supported Mr. Chamberlain because they thought he was going to 
sweep the country, and because they liked the idea of being con- 
tributories to a great party victory. When they find that he has 
done no such thing, but instead has led them to utter ruin, and when 
they see that what two years ago was the strongest and most united 
political party in the country has been smashed to atoms, and reduced 
to a state of impotence as complete as that which marked the Liberal 
party from 1895 till last year, what are likely to be their sentiments in 
regard to the men who have led them into a position so deplorable ? 
Will not they begin to ask whether Mr. Chamberlain was a wise guide, 
and whether they had not better have kept in the old ways, and 
maintained the old safe policy which Lord Salisbury represented, and 
which the Duke of Devonshire, Mr. Ritchie, Lord Balfour of Burleigh, 
and Lord George Hamilton were ready and willing to carry on ? It 
was not, they will reflect, to ruin and destroy their party that they 
followed Mr. Chamberlain, and in the stress of the reaction that will 
follow thousands of voices are certain to be raised in favour of the 
reconstruction of the party on its old basis, which included Free Trade. 
Then will come the opportunity of the Unionist Free Traders of 
those, that is, who, while Free Traders and determined to make their 
Free Trade views effective, have refused to join the Liberal party, but 
have maintained their Unionism and created a Unionist though 
a Free Trade organisation. Unionist Free Traders will be able to 
point out that reunion can always be effected by the abandonment of 
Protection. They will not, it is needless to say, ask for the sacrifice 
of particular individuals, but as long as Protection is abandoned 
once and for all they will be ready to reunite with their old friends 
and colleagues, 


I am perfectly prepared to hear it said that this is a dream, and 
that the bulk of the Unionist party will never be able to abandon 
Protection or to free themselves from the heavy burden of Mr. Chamber- 


Iain's policy. To this I would reply that a policy adopted so quickly 
as the Protectionist policy was adopted may be abandoned with equal 
promptitude. When the glamour of a promised victory has departed 
from the Chamberlain policy men will find it by no means difficult to 
throw over, and will long to return to saner and safer ways. No 
doubt the process of reconversion and reconstruction will not be 
carried out in a day, and will require time and patience ; but remember 
that what the Unionist Free Traders will have to offer will be by no 
means insignificant. When the Unionist Free Traders are properly 
organised in each constituency, as they will be if the Unionist Free 
Traders do their duty, and constitute a firm and compact body outside 
the party, but ready to return to it, the temptation to the party 
managers to get them once more into the party fold will be immense. 
When then the Unionist party managers recognise that they 
cannot regain power unless they satisfy the Unionist Free Traders, 
they will in the end give the pledges which the Unionist Free 
Traders are determined to obtain. It will be said, perhaps, that 
this is a delusion, and I shall be told that Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. 
Balfour counted the cost of secession before they abandoned the policy 
of Free Trade and took up Protection. They knew that they must 
lose a great many Free Trade votes, and they will not change their 
policy because they have obtained practical proof of the fact. This 
argument, however, ignores a very important consideration. Mr. 
Chamberlain and Mr. Balfour no doubt knew perfectly well that they 
would lose the Unionist Free Trade votes, but they calculated on 
obtaining for Protection a wide support from the non-party portion of 
the nation, and even from a good number of those who call themselves 
Liberals or Radicals. These new adherents they fully believed would 
outweigh the Free Trade Unionists. Their calculation has already turned 
out ridiculously wrong, and will be still further falsified at the General 
Election. Protection has found no adherence among Liberals, and 
instead of attracting the non-party men has sent them in thousands, 
as the figures of the bye-elections show, to vote for Free Trade can- 
didates. I hold then that, if the defeat of Mr. Chamberlain is as 
complete at the polls as I believe it will be, the shrewder minds among 
the Unionist party managers will realise that reunion with the Unionist 
Free Traders is essential unless the party is to wander in the wilder- 
ness, as did the Liberal party after its adoption of Home Rule. In 
any case the ideal of forming a body whose special aim and object it 
shall be to reunite in the future the Unionist party, scattered and 
broken by Mr. Chamberlain, is one well worth working for. If we 
fail in this part of our policy we shall have done no harm, while if we 
succeed we shall have killed Protection for the next fifty years. Per- 
sonally I believe we shall succeed in both our aims, i.e. in maintaining 
Free Trade and in reuniting the Unionist party on a Free Trade basis. 
At any rate it will be far easier for us to succeed in our aim of reuniting 



the party on a Free Trade basis if we make the defeat of the Protec- 
tionists as complete as possible at the General Election. Therefore 
I hold that the more strongly and earnestly a Unionist Free Trader 
desires to remain a Unionist and to bring about the ultimate reunion 
of his party, the more ardently should he work to prevent the return of 
Protectionists, whether Balfourites or Chamberlainites, at the coming 
General Election, and to ensure a crushing victory for Free Trade. 
The greater the defeat of the Chamberlainite and Balfourite policy 
the more certain is the ultimate reunion of the party. Therefore the 
aim of Unionist Free Traders should be to oppose strongly candidates 
for Parliament who will not pledge themselves to withstand the 
policy of Protection, no matter under what apparently amiable and 
innocuous guises it is presented to them, and to give an active and 
effective support to Free Trade candidates, irrespective of party. 

It is clear from what I have said that those who mean to remain 
both Unionists and Free Traders must lose no time in perfecting their 
organisation throughout the constituencies. They must not think 
that the duty of Unionist Free Traders is merely to save the seats of 
the patriotic and high-minded men who sacrificed their political and 
official careers rather than abandon Free Trade, and left the Ministry 
last autumn. All that is possible must be done to save their seats ; 
but a greater and even more important object is to secure a Unionist 
bodyguard for Free Trade in every constituency, and to use every 
endeavour to defeat Protectionist candidates at the poll. Our ideal 
should be to reduce the Protectionist vote in the next House of Com- 
mons to the lowest limits, and to make the plebiscite for Free Trade 
for such the next General Election will in fact be as overwhelming 
as possible. 


Personally I have no doubt that the organisation of the Unionist 
Free Traders and their apparent ability to turn a great number of 
elections will have the result of indirectly modifying the views of 
the Liberal candidates on many important political questions. That 
is, the existence of the Unionist Free Traders will encourage Liberal 
candidates to stand up against the faddists and extremists. But 
though I strongly hope and desire that this result may be indirectly 
produced I am equally strong against the Unionist Free Traders 
officially bargaining with the Liberals in regard to the views of their 
candidates : and for this reason. If such direct bargaining takes 
place it will mean that the Unionist Free Traders will to a certain 
extent become responsible for the details of Liberal policy on other 
matters than Free Trade, and they will become insensibly drawn into 
an alliance with the Liberals so close as to suggest fusion and amalga- 
mation. My desire is that no such intimate alliance should take 
place, but merely that there should be a working and fighting agree- 


ment, i.e. political co-operation for a specific purpose, that of defending 
Free Trade. We want to remain free and untrammelled by any strict 
or formal alliance. I say this not because I have any particular horror 
of a great part of the Liberal creed, or in any sense or form regard 
Liberalism as the unclean thing. I say it because I hold that our 
object and duty is not directly to modify the Liberal policy or to take 
any responsibility in regard to it, but at the present to maintain Free 
Trade and in the future to reunite the Unionist party. If we become 
in any way responsible for Liberal policy this task may be rendered 
infinitely harder or even impossible. Again, if as a party we should 
attempt to dictate as to the views of Liberal candidates instead of 
merely co-operating heartily with them on one issue, they in return 
would very naturally desire to dictate the policy of those Free Trade 
Unionists who will be returned by the co-operation of Liberal votes. 
We must not interfere with them or they with us. Each must trust 
the other, and act in confidence and in good faith. 

I hope I have made the position and aims and objects of the Unionist 
Free Traders clear. To state them once more : We are both Unionists 
and Free Traders, and mean that both the Union and Free Trade shall 
prevail. But with us Free Trade is no mere counsel of perfection, no 
academic opinion. We mean to make our Free Trade views effective 
by voting and working for Free Traders irrespective of party wherever 
they are opposed by Protectionists. That is our immediate object. 
Our ultimate object is equally clear and equally dictated by our 
determination to maintain Free Trade. We realise that unless Free 
Trade is held by both parties in the State to be, like the Monarchy, 
beyond political dispute, Free Trade cannot be absolutely safe. There- 
fore we mean to remain Unionists and to use every endeavour to reunite 
and reconstruct the Unionist party on a Free Trade basis. This, we 
believe, we shall be able to accomplish after Mr. Chamberlain has led 
the Unionist party to the ruin which, unhappily, is inevitable at the 
next General Election. The position of the Unionist party resembles 
one of those surgical cases in which a bone which has been broken 
and badly set has to be broken again before it can be properly rejoined 
and healed. To adopt another metaphor, only after it has been purged 
in the fires of a General Election can the Unionist party be reunited. 
The more complete is that process of purgation by fire the stronger will 
the reunited party prove. Therefore the Unionist Free Traders can 
adopt no half-measures and no timorous courses, but both in the 
interests of Free Trade and of their party must strike with all their 
might against the evils of Protection. 

Editor of ' The Spectator.' 




IT was inevitable that any protest against the Papal motu proprio on 
the subject of Church music should arouse the displeasure of those 
who regard a Papal decree as being something more than an expres- 
sion of human opinion and individual intention. It was inevitable, 
too, that musical technicalities should be introduced into a question 
which, if examined coldly and without the bias from which neither 
the professionally religious nor the professionally artistic can be 
altogether free, resolves itself into a matter of personal taste and, 
I may add, personal temperament. 

I may perhaps be excused if I regard it as also inevitable that 
the addition of the words ' a Roman Catholic protest ' to the heading 
of my article in the June number of this Review should have excited 
the wrath of a section of the Roman Catholic body whose mouthpiece 
the Rev. Ethelred Taunton makes himself in his reply to me under 
the title, suggestive of that of a popular play now running at a London 
theatre, The Pope and the Novelist. 

I have reason to believe that had it not been for the words ' a 
Roman Catholic Protest' which appeared as a sub-title to my original 
article Mr. Taunton and others of his communion would have been 
content to regard that article in the light in which it was written. 
They would perhaps have recognised the fact that I disclaimed any 
intention of appealing to the clerically minded, and that I wrote 
merely from the position, as it were, of the man in the street, who 
may love music and its expression without being an expert in its 

I feel that in replying to Mr. Taunton's strictures upon the effrontery 
of a novelist presuming to criticise the action of a Pope I am some- 
what at a disadvantage, inasmuch as I am replying, not to a Roman 
Catholic layman, but to a Roman Catholic priest. 

Mr. Taunton in his article bases his argument against the justness 
of my e protest ' largely upon personalities. I would fain have kept 
such matters at a distance as being neither profitable, relevant, nor, 
I would add, dignified. He alludes to me as a bored convert. I 
frankly admit the impeachment, so far as my experiences of modern 


English Roman Catholicism are concerned ; but as I live chiefly 
among Continental Catholics I am happily little affected by the ennui 
which he rightly describes me as feeling. I would only observe that 
had Mr. Taunton substituted a stronger term for that of ' bored ' 
he would have more correctly described my condition. 

Mr. Taunton goes on to say, with a touch of sacerdotalism admir- 
ably in harmony with the times of St. Gregory : * I will not say for a 
moment that the laity, hereditary Catholics or neophytes, have not 
got their rights,' and again : ' While I have sympathy with any move- 
ment which seeks by legitimate methods to obtain that recognition 
of the rights of the laity which the Church has always acknowledged, 
I will have nothing to do with the bored convert except to wish that 
he would take his boredom elsewhere.' 

I do not forget that I am replying to a priest, and I am happy 
if I have afforded Mr. Taunton an opportunity of scoring a point to 
his credit with his ecclesiastical superiors at my expense. I would 
remind him, however, that indifference is a far more difficult matter 
to treat than boredom, and that there are countless Catholics in the 
world, as there are countless Protestants, who remain within their 
respective communions merely because they are indifferent to priestly 
pretensions. I wish, to quote Mr. Taunton's own words, to do my 
spiriting gently, and I trust he will not think me discourteous towards 
his order if I suggest that, since it is not converts only who are bored, 
he might with advantage search for the true cause of the boredom. 

I will, however, pass from personal matters to the consideration 
of Mr. Taunton's replies to my definition of the recent Papal edict on 
Church music as an artistic and psychological blunder. Mr. Taunton 
here becomes more interesting, inasmuch as he is expressing his views 
on a subject which must appeal to many, and he allows himself momen- 
tarily to forget my unfortunate individuality in his defence of a branch 
of that art to which he is well known to be deeply attached. 

Mr. Taunton reminds me that I have made an admission an 
admission which he qualifies as being unnecessary to the effect that 
I am no musical expert. I would submit that in this fact lies the 
strength of my argument. I have entrenched myself behind human 
nature, as the man in the street has, fortunately for human progress, 
ever entrenched himself. At the same time I think I may say without 
undue vanity that my musical education has not been wholly neglected, 
and that music to me has ever been the first of the arts, although I 
cannot, of course, meet Mr. Taunton on strictly technical ground. 

He asserts that I have missed the true gist of the matter ; that the 
spiritual or even artistic point of view has not troubled me at all ; 
and that I have forgotten the elementary fact that music was made 
for men, and not men for music. 

I agree with Mr. Taunton that music was made for men ; but 
does he not forget the elementary fact that all men are not priests; 


that all men have not the clerical temperament ; that many, nay, 
perhaps the majority of human beings are emotional rather than 
genuinely religious, and that their religion can only be stirred through 
the senses ? 

I am aware that a religion which is of the senses alone is regarded 
with reasonable distrust by those whose faith rests on a firmer basis. 
Nevertheless and here Mr. Taunton must forgive the novelist the 
majority of men are swayed by the senses, and the majority of men 
are not priests. Pope Pius X., I would submit, in inculcating the 
principle that all ecclesiastical music should be modelled as nearly 
as possible to the Gregorian form, has forgotten this fact, and Mr. 
Taunton ignores it. 

Mr. Taunton declares that I have altogether misunderstood or 
misrepresented the Pope's attitude towards Church music. 

Writing, as I do, with his Holiness's ' Instruction ' before me, I 
must affirm that I have done neither the one nor the other. 

Pius X. observes that it is fully legitimate to lay down the following 
rule : ' The more closely a composition for church approaches in its 
movement, inspiration, and savour the Gregorian form, the more 
sacred and liturgical it becomes ; and the more out of harmony it is 
with that supreme model, the less worthy is it of the temple.' 

And again : ' The ancient Gregorian chant must, therefore, be 
largely restored to the function of public worship.' 

The Pope goes on to state that the qualities possessed by the 
Gregorian chant are also possessed by the classic polyphony, espe- 
cially that of the Roman school as represented by Pierluigi da Pales- 
trina. This classic polyphony, the Holy Father observes, agrees so 
admirably with the Gregorian chant the supreme model of all sacred 
music that it has been found worthy of a place side by side with it 
in the more solemn functions of the Church. 

I can assure Mr. Taunton, and others of my Roman Catholic clerical 
critics who adopt a less honourable form of criticism than he, that I 
fully understand the true aim and scope of the Pope's juridical code of 
sacred music, and I think that the clauses from which I have quoted 
admit of no misinterpretation. It is idle to assert that Pius X. means 
one thing when he obviously means another, and Mr. Taunton's 
quibble about the Pope not confining the -music of the Church to plain 
song, ' as one would think from Mr. Bagot's article,' will scarcely 
deceive any attentive reader of the Papal molu proprio. If modern 
music is admitted at all into the offices of the Church, it is only under 
such stringent conditions as to make it almost indistinguishable from the 
Gregorian form except to musical experts, who, it may be observed, 
are not so numerous as Mr. Taunton seems to imagine. 

I cannot, of course, expect to convince Mr. Taunton and his friends 
that I am not so inartistic, or so incapable of realising that music has 
a spiritual side, as they profess to believe. The compromising words 


' a Roman Catholic Protest ' which headed my first article have clearly 
rendered any justification in their eyes of my position impossible, for 
reasons to which I shall refer hereafter. 

In that article I ventured to assert that the Pope's attempt to 
enforce the universal adoption of Gregorian, plain song, or the classic 
polyphony in Roman Catholic places of worship was a threefold 
blunder artistic, psychological, and, if I may so express it, diplo- 
matic. I was very well aware that such a statement would arouse 
the wrath of the sacristy, but I must frankly own to indifference on 
this point. I expressly stated that I was not appealing to certain 
minds. Nevertheless the sacristy has answered me. I fear that I 
am neither convinced by its arguments nor alarmed at its anger. 
It is not a little difficult to separate Mr. Taunton's arguments from 
his personalities in his article entitled The Pope and the Novelist, but 
I will endeavour to deal fairly by the former, both from his point of 
view and from my own ; with the latter, as they are couched in terms 
which make it impossible for me to ignore them, I propose to deal 
later on in these pages. 

Mr. Taunton observes that he and I differ fundamentally on the 
philosophy of sacred music, and I readily admit the fact. I confess 
that, in common with a vast number of my fellow creatures of all 
nations, I regard music, whether it be sacred or profane, from a 
broader and no doubt a more material standpoint than that of the 
expert or the religiously minded. If music be an art, like all art, it 
must surely be progressive. Mr. Taunton himself unconsciously 
supplies me with an argument to illustrate my contention that the 
Pope's action, however laudable theoretically, and however logical 
from the strictly scientific point of view, is an offence against art. 

' From the days of Gregory I. (604), if not earlier,' says Mr. Taunton, 
* the Popes have issued decrees on the subject and Councils have 
legislated.' If I am not mistaken, Benedict XIV. issued a decree 
even more drastic than the motu proprio of Pius X. in the hopes of 
' reforming ' Church music. I would ask Mr. Taunton with whom 
lay the victory, with Popes and Councils, or with the mass of the people 
whose ideals had progressed since the year 604, and whose musical 
needs had developed with the centuries ? 

In a word, artistic progress triumphed against the ecclesiastical 
love of retrogression, as it may confidently be expected to triumph 
again to-day. 

It will, of course, be objected that corruption and decay, rather 
than artistic progress, was the result of ignoring the decrees of Popes 
and Councils to which Mr. Taunton alludes, and the low standard of 
Church music in Italy and Spain will be pointed to as an example. 
I submit and here I must again observe that I am not appealing to 
the professionally religious or to the musical purist that there may 
be something to be said from the psychological point of view even for 


the profane and theatrical music in Italian churches which so shocks 
Mr. Taunton, and which the Abbe Perosi (for Mr. Taunton is in error 
when he affirms that this insipid and unoriginal composer had no hand 
in the Pope's project) and Pius X. very rightly wish to reform. 

Mr. Taunton waxes indignant at the very idea of defending such 
inartistic enormities as the rendering of a motif from the Traviata or 
similar profane music during a Mass, and he professes to believe that 
I defend such practices from an ' artistic ' point of view ! He has 
either not read my article attentively or, as I fear is more likely, in his 
anxiety to please those who had decided that I must be ' sat upon ' 
he has preferred to place a false construction on what he read. I 
commented upon the practice of adapting light opera music to the 
Mass purely from a psychological standpoint. Mr. Taunton, by the 
way, jumps at an unwarrantable conclusion when he argues that I 
heard Bizet's VArlesienne from a shilling front seat in a London 
sanctuary, and that I, therefore, could not have studied the faces of 
the congregation. When I attend a Roman Catholic church in 
England I sit as near as I can to the door, lest there should be a 

To return to my argument it does not seem to strike Mr. Taunton 
and the Pope that human beings are not all cast in the clerical mould, 
and that temperaments differ in all classes, and among all people. 
Mr. Taunton, to quote his own words, is proud to take his stand as a 
musician by the side of the fearless Pius X., who recalls us to a better 
sense of true art, and I congratulate him on taking up so elevated a 
position. At the same time I am proud to stand by the side of any 
Italian peasant whose devotions are not interfered with by the fact 
that the organist is rattling out an operatic melody. Verdi's music 
probably appeals to the spiritual side of some natures quite as much 
as ' classic polyphony ' does to those of Mr. Taunton and Pope Pius X. 
We do not all want to be recalled to the spiritual and mental conditions 
of the sixth century, nor even to those of the fifteenth century. 

I feel that I must not insist too much upon this point, or my Roman 
Catholic critics will accuse me of upholding the performance of drinking 
songs during Mass. 

Mr. Taunton makes the very surprising statement that music by 
itself is vague unless it has associations. If it be not too presumptuous 
to differ from a musical expert, I would reply that, as a humble lover 
of Beethoven, Schubert, Wagner, and many smaller masters, I have 
not found this to be the case. It can scarcely be necessary to inform 
Mr. Taunton that I am not a religious person ; it is, I suppose, merely 
my novelist's imagination that makes me prefer a movement from a 
Beethoven symphony as a spiritual and intellectual aid to all the 
plain song or classic polyphony ever chanted by priests. 

I have already stated in my first article my reasons for believing 
the recent action of Pope Pius X. to be a triple blunder, and I need 


not, therefore, repeat them. Mr. Taunton has declared that I have 
misunderstood the Pope's instructions. I contend that I have not 
done so, and that if the obvious intentions of his Holiness are loyally 
carried out, music specially composed for the Church by great masters 
can never again be heard ; that a large quantity of music of minor 
artistic value which yet appeals to thousands of people of all classes 
is banished ; and that the complete exclusion of instrumental music 
except under very special and restricted conditions is to be deplored. 

Mr. Taunton's arguments, as I have said, do not convince me, 
while his assertion that I have misunderstood the Pope's intentions 
is manifestly absurd. The Pope speaks too plainly to be misunder- 
stood. We are, as I remarked in my previous article, confronted by 
another instance of the perpetual struggle on the part of the priest- 
hood to force the world to move backward. Let Mr. Taunton honestly 
confess the truth. He must admit that, when all is said and done, 
there must always be those to whom the forms of music made obli- 
gatory by the Pope appeal, and those to whom they are a weariness 
to the spirit and a hindrance rather than an aid to devotion. The 
latter may not be, indeed, I am sure that they are not, ' musicians ' 
in the technical sense, which evidently alone commands Mr. Taunton's 
sympathies ; but they exist, and exist in very large numbers in every 
country. So large a body are they, indeed, that their opposition has 
stultified those former decrees of Popes and Councils to which Mr. 
Taunton alludes. In whatever other ways I may be misunderstood, 
I do not wish to be misunderstood on this point. I do not, as Mr. 
Taunton would infer, uphold from an artistic point of view the use 
of that theatrical music which the Pope rightly condemns. I merely 
observe that the Pope and his advisers have ignored the fact that all 
men are not clerics, and that few of us, save those who are clerics, 
wish to revert to the sixth century. However disagreeable it may 
be to Mr. Taunton and his supporters, the fact remains that thousands 
of Roman Catholics in this country and millions on the Continent and 
in America regret and deplore the Pope's action. Many that I have 
spoken to content themselves with shrugging their shoulders and 
declaring their intention of only attending Low Masses so soon as the 
Papal order is put into force. No doubt this attitude, were it not for 
diminished offertories, will be more pleasing to the English Roman 
Catholic clergy than a ' protest ' which might appear to question their 
dearly loved ' authority.' 

I now, with considerable reluctance, pass to the consideration of 
Mr. Taunton's personal attacks upon myself. I can assure him that 
I feel no resentment on account of them, for I am fully aware that in 
making them he is only the mouthpiece of his superiors, who have 
long been unwilling openly to attack me lest by so doing they should 
draw attention to my writings. I can but apologise to my readers 
for touching upon personal matters ; but those who have read Mr. 


Taunton's article in the July number of this Keview will, I think, 
recognise that the responsibility for their introduction does not rest 
with me. 

Mr. Taunton prefaces his criticism of my previous article in this 
Review by examining what he calls my ' position.' I am grateful 
to him for having done so, for he has afforded me an opportunity of 
stating publicly what it is of little use to state in private. He resents 
the fact that my previous paper bore the sub-title of ' A Roman 
Catholic Protest.' He states that I have thrown myself ' heart and 
soul into the Quirinal party.' I pass over, as unnecessary to notice 
here, other remarks which appear to me to be irrelevant, and to have 
been written more with a view to please others than to damage me. 

Mr. Taunton and his supporters must now forgive me if I examine 
my ' position ' from another point of view, and I will do it as briefly 
as possible. 

Some years ago, in 1899, I published an article in the Nuova 
Antologia entitled ' L'Inghilterra si fara cattolica ? ' Although it 
touched upon no theological question, and was of a purely speculative 
nature, my statements regarding the inaccuracy and exaggeration in 
the returns periodically sent by Cardinal Vaughan to Rome as to the 
numbers and importance of the converts received into the Church, 
coupled with the fact that the article attracted considerable attention, 
gave great offence to the English Roman Catholic party. Since that 
occurrence, although I have studiously avoided attacking any dogma 
or article of faith, with a single exception, of the Church, I have been 
persistently accused of doing so. I have written from a political and a 
social standpoint only against the temporal pretensions of the Vatican 
and in favour of United Italy. The expressions put into the mouths of 
characters in my novels have been asserted to be my own views ! An 
obviously inartistic and unfair way of judging a writer of fiction. 
Were any proof needed of the bitterness of the English Roman Catholic 
body as a whole towards any Roman Catholic differing from the 
Vatican politically, Mr. Taunton's remarks as to my ' position ' 
would amply provide it. 3 

It is true that I am a ' convert.' But in view of the fact that it 
has been repeatedly asserted by certain prominent English Roman 
Catholics that I only became a ' convert ' four or five years ago in 
order to make ' copy ' out of the Roman Church, I take this oppor- 
tunity of observing that I joined that Church three-and- twenty 
years ago. 

Many reasons have been assigned to explain why I, an English 
Roman Catholic, should, as Mr. Taunton expresses it, have thrown 
myself heart and soul into the Quirinal party and written against 
the temporal policy of the Vatican. I proposed for the hand of a 
daughter of a well-known ' black ' house in Rome and was refused, 
and therefore wrote against the ' black ' party out of pique. I may 


here observe that it has never been my misfortune to be refused by 
any Roman lady, ' black ' or otherwise, or by her family ; and also 
that, under somewhat exceptional circumstances not often enjoyed by 
a foreigner, I made a study of the political and social questions relating 
to Vaticanism for seven years before venturing to write about them. 
I was the tool of unscrupulous anti-clerical journalists ; I abused my 
religion in order to make money. These and many other equally 
fantastic and dishonourable reasons have been advanced and widely 
circulated, I regret to say, by English Vaticanists, who well know that 
they were unfounded, in the hopes of gradually discrediting my 
literary work with the public ; and a well-known ' converted ' ecclesi- 
astic has not been wanting to take an active and untiring part in 
disseminating them. 

I am, as I have said before, grateful to Mr. Taunton for having 
been more courageous and more honourable in his methods than some 
of his supporters, and for having given me an opportunity of 
publicly explaining my ' position,' and of denying certain statements 
circulated with no other object than to damage my reputation as a 
writer. I hope he will understand that I respect an open attack, 
however bitterly it may be made. What I cannot respect is the 
system of dealing secret blows on the part of those who well knew my 
political views long before I put them into print, and who have until 
now been afraid to answer me in a straightforward manner. 

In none of my writings have I ever attacked a dogma or article 
of faith of the Roman Church, with the single exception of the dogma 
of infallibility, which has been attacked by some of the greatest 
Catholic writers on the Continent, and which may be said to be at 
least as much a dogma of political as of religious import. My per- 
sonal belief or disbelief in religious doctrines I have kept rigidly to 
myself as being altogether outside my sphere to discuss in print. In 
my Roman novels British convert fanaticism is, it is true, held up to 
ridicule and compared with the moderate and unaggressive attitude 
of the vast majority of Continental Catholics ; but my English Roman 
Catholic critics are very well aware that I have not attacked any 
definite dogma, except the one to which I have already alluded. I 
imagine that they would have been better pleased with me had I 
done so. 

Mr. Taunton and others resent my application of the term Roman 
Catholic to myself or to any protest penned by me. I would ask 
them on what grounds they do so. 

If the authorities of the Roman Church disapprove of my attitude 
from a dogmatic point of view an obvious course is open to them. 
Until this course is adopted I am, I submit, at least officially a member 
of the Roman Church, and as such I have as good a right to qualify 
myself as a Roman Catholic as any other English convert, layman or 



I regret to disappoint Mr. Taunton and his party, but they must 
not be surprised if I decline to be silenced by cheap ridicule. There 
are many, as good Catholics as they, who are honest enough to dis- 
tinguish between opposition to Vaticanism as a political and social 
power and open opposition to the Church as a religious body. 

As I have already pointed out, a man, even if he have the mis- 
fortune to be a novelist, must either be in the Church of Rome or out 
of it. There are only two methods by which he can forfeit the right 
officially to define himself as a Roman Catholic namely, voluntary 
retirement or formal excommunication. I confess that the prospect 
of the latter does not arouse my superstitious fears sufficiently to 
tempt me to discount its terrors by taking the former step, much as 
my doing so would gratify my critics. The accident of having been 
born in the nineteenth instead of the sixth or even the fifteenth 
century robs the priestly anathema of the terrors with which it might 
otherwise have inspired me. I fear that Mr. Taunton will attribute 
this to defective imagination on the part of a novelist who has ventured 
to criticise the musical programme of a Pope. 




THE object of the present paper is to indicate the reasonable practi- 
cability of investigating, at inconsiderable risk to human life, a land 
which, hitherto bidding defiance to the boldest explorers, has through 
all time remained untraversed by civilised man, yet one to which 
perhaps before all other lands of the wondrous East there attaches 
more absorbing interest, more of marvel and mystery, and which 
moreover may, for all that has been inferred to the contrary, be 
found to yield the richest prizes of discovery. The country to which 
we refer is Central Arabia, and the mode of approach that we advo- 
cate is one which, while it appeals to a spirit of highest enterprise, 
involves no mere wild or untried scheme. The true roadway across 
the barrier presented not only by the physical difficulties of a water- 
less wilderness but also by the hostility of native fanaticism is, we 
are convinced, not by the desert but by sky. And here it cannot be 
said that such previous trials and experience as we have to judge 
from offer any really adverse argument. Let us carefully examine 
the case as we find it. 

The lamentable termination of Andree's dash to the Pole may 
have, indeed, for a while diverted the public mind from the con- 
templation of that perfectly legitimate and logical application of 
modern science and skill the exploration of inaccessible tracts of the 
globe by balloon. It might, indeed, seem as though for the present 
the world is standing watching the modern airship, and the yet more 
recently conceived though somewhat visionary flying-machine, in the 
hope that these will prove capable of achieving what the balloon has 
as yet failed to accomplish. Yet the results of past months go to 
prove that we cannot hope, at least until great advances have been 
made, that any form of aerial motor will be able, holding a definite 
course of its own, to contend with the streams and storms which 
prevail but a little way above the earth's surface. 

On the other hand, it should on no account be forgotten that the 
balloon in Andree's hands, and in his peculiar circumstances, cannot 
be said to have had a reasonably fair trial. Owing to the exigencies 
of the case, the balloon, which seems after all to have hardly been the 
best for the exceptional purpose in hand, had to be kept inflated for 



nearly three weeks, while the intrepid navigators were waiting for 
their wind, during all which time leakage was going on at a known 
and very appreciable rate ; and thus it came about that in the end 
Andree was constrained to commit himself to a wind that was not 
wholly favourable. To have been entirely in the right direction it 
should have been due south, whereas on the eve of starting it veered 
somewhat west of south, and, with fatal allurement ' whistling through 
the woodwork of the shed and flapping the canvas,' urged the voyagers 
prematurely to their ill-fated venture. And other conditions must 
have told, and perhaps more seriously, against the success of that 
hazardous expedition. The extremely, low temperature near the Pole 
would not only cause shrinkage of the gas, but also a constant deposi- 
tion of the weight of condensed moisture, if not of snow, on the surface 
of the balloon. 

But over and above all, the mode adopted for the controlling of 
the balloon would be very largely against the possibility of a pro- 
longed voyage. This mode, it will be remembered, was by means of 
a trail rope dragging on the ice, which, so long as it was in contact 
with earth", would render a rudder sail operative to a small extent. 
Its very efficiency, however, depended on its actually slowing down 
the speed of the balloon, while it is well known to all aeronauts of 
experience that it is an exceedingly difficult manoeuvre to keep a 
trail rope dragging on the ground if it is desired to prevent collision 
with the earth, on the one hand, or, on the other hand, to avoid loss 
of gas, inasmuch as a slight increase of temperature, or drying off of 
condensed moisture, may indeed, is sure after a while to lift the 
rope off the ground, in which case the balloon, rising into upper levels, 
is liable to be borne away on currents which may be from almost 
any direction, and of which the observer below may have no cognis- 
ance. Thus it will have to be acknowledged that Andree set himself 
a task of great difficulty, in which the chances were largely against 
him ; yet, in spite of all we learn from a message recovered from a 
carrier pigeon that at the end of forty-eight hours the voyagers were 
full of hope, with their aerial vessel still going strong, and maintaining 
with good promise what must certainly have proved to be the longest 
sky journey in time of any yet made on our planet. 

But let us now turn to the possibilities of balloon travel under 
practicable and altogether more favourable circumstances, where 
climate, instead of being opposed, would be strongly in the balloon's 
favour, and where the utmost advantage could be taken of the winds, 
not as they travel more sluggishly near the earth's surface, but as 
they blow in strength in the free heavens aloft. 

America may fairly claim to have been the first to furnish an 
aerial explorer of the first rank as bold and enterprising as he was 
confident, who offered, as far back as fifty years ago, to vindicate 
the capability of the balloon to accomplish exploration of the globe. 


His project was to make the transit of the Atlantic by a purely 
scientific method of aerial navigation which he himself conceived, and 
the soundness of which is upheld by the leading meteorologists of 
to-day. It was in 1843 that John Wise wrote to the Lancaster In- 
telligencer : 

Having from a long experience in aeronautics been convinced that a constant 
and regular current of air is blowing at all times from west to east, with a 
velocity of from twenty to forty and even sixty miles an hour, according to its 
height from the earth, and having discovered a composition which renders silk 
or muslin impervious to hydrogen gas, so that a balloon may be kept afloat for 
many weeks, I feel confident that with these advantages a trip across the 
Atlantic will not be attended with as much real danger as by the common mode 
of transition. 

Wise further specified that the requisite balloon should be of a 
hundred feet diameter, and twenty thousand pounds lifting power, 
and were such a craft provided him he announced his readiness to 
attempt the proposed venture. 

Had this enterprising offer been taken up and successfully carried 
through, it cannot be doubted that there would be fewer untravelled 
and unexploited regions of the globe than there are to-day. The mere 
crossing of the Atlantic on the back of the west wind would have 
added nought to our geographical knowledge, but it would have 
proved the possibility of utilising the same westerly wind drift 
which we have shortly to consider to reconnoitre untrodden tracts, 
more particularly on the great desert belt of the earth, in compara- 
tive safety, at a relatively trifling cost, with great expedition withal, 
and yet with full leisure to make notes by the way, as also to sketch 
or photograph, not a mere track only as seen by a weary traveller 
from the height of a camel's back, but a broad tract with a practicable 
horizon of near one hundred miles on either side. 

Now, among eminent meteorologists there is a general agreement 
of opinion as to such a prevalence of westerly winds aloft as would 
well serve the purpose of the aeronaut Arabian explorer. Ferrel, 
having shown in his practical treatise that strong wind currents from 
the west are in general required by theoretical considerations, goes 
on to say that 

any one of ordinary observing habits could scarcely live a week upon the 
earth without discovering from the motions of the clouds, and especially the 
very high cirrus clouds, that the general tendency of the air above is towards 
the east. 

Again, Espy says : 

I have found the true cirrus cloud to average scarcely once a year from any 
eastern direction, and when they do come from that direction it is only when 
there is a storm 'of uncommon violence in the east. Mr. Ley also, in his 
numerous observations of the cirrus clouds, almost universally found them'to 
have a motion towards the east from which they rarely deviated. 

VOL. LVI No. 330 S 


Observations of the directions of clouds at Zi-ka-wei, 31 12' 
N. lat., 121 26' E. long., and again at Colonia Tover, Venezuela, 
lat. 10 26', indicate that the principal component of motion above 
is an eastern one. 

But there are other indications of the drift of upper currents 
"besides that afforded by visible clouds. Thus Ferrel adduces as facts 
of striking significance : 

On the 1st of May, 1812, the island of Barbadoes was suddenly obscured by 
a shower of ashes from an eruptive volcano of St. Vincent, West Indies, more 
than a hundred miles to the westward. Also on the 20th of January, 1835, the 
volcano of Coseguina, Central America, lying in the belt of the north-easterly 
trade winds, sent forth great quantities of lava and ashes, and the latter were 
borne in a direction just contrary to that of the surface winds, and lodged in 
the island of Jamaica, 800 miles to the E.N.E. 

With regard to the volcanic eruption of the island of Sumbawa, 
about two hundred miles east of Java, Lyell says : ' On the side of 
Java the ashes were carried to the distance of three hundred miles, 
and two hundred and seventeen miles towards Celebes.' Some 
of the finest particles, says Mr. Crawford, were transported to the 
islands of Amboyna and Banda, which last is about eight hundred 
miles from the site of the volcano, although the south-east monsoon 
was then at its height. According to Mr. Forbes, the dust cloud 
from the eruption of Krakatoa was carried on the high winds to no 
less than twelve hundred miles eastward. 

No less convincing is the evidence of the winds as actually en- 
countered on lofty mountains. Leopold von Buch says, with regard 
to the Peak of Teneriffe : ' It is hard to find any account of an ascent 
of the peak in which the strong west wind which has been met with 
on the summit has not been mentioned.' Again, on Pike's Peak, the 
observations of the Signal Service, during ten years, show the wind 
to blow very constantly towards a direction somewhat north of east. 
So, from the top of Mount Washington, Loomis found the resultant 
direction of the wind to be west by north. So, again, at Mount 
Alibut, two hundred miles west of Irkutsk, and over seven thousand 
feet high, a very constant and strong W.N.W. wind is observed. 

And it should be noted that it is when we approach nearer to 
equatorial latitudes that we find greater regularity in the winds, even 
such as blow at lower levels. It is a well-known fact that over parts 
of the Australian wilds there are prevalent upper winds from the 
north-west. Enduring westerly winds blow across Peru and Brazil ; 
while undoubtedly across Thibet powerful and long-lasting gales, 
possibly connected with the monsoons, are the heritage of the country. 
Equally Js this the case with respect to the seaboard of Asia, of which 
we have particularly to speak, due to a cause which at least is un- 
varying namely, the great rarefaction of the atmosphere over the 
centre of that continent. It is possible to prophesy almost to the 


inside of a week as to the coining of the south-west monsoon. And in 
all cases when we pass beyond these surface winds into the upper 
currents we find these currents are fast, an estimate of their speed 
being deducible from the general law that the velocity of currents 
increases from the lowest to the highest clouds at the rate of about 
three miles an hour for each thousand feet of height. 

Probably there is no unexplored tract of the earth better adapted 
for an initial trial, or more likely to yield interesting results to an 
aerial traveller, than the heart of the great Arabian Peninsula. The 
prospects of discovering productive regions hitherto unknown by such 
a survey will be discussed in due place, while the comparative certainty 
with which the proposed transit of the country could be effected can 
need little insisting on. The writer has learnt from veteran officers 
of the P. and 0. service that from west to east across Arabia, as far 
as indications go, there is every probability of finding a favouring 
wind, and one persistently blowing overhead, if the right time of 
year be chosen. Moreover, Mr. D. G. Hogarth, whom, as a recent and 
reliable authority, I shall have to quote farther, states, from copious 
information, that the tract from the desert of Sinai to the centre of 
the Arabian peninsula ' is swept by an eternally westerly wind, which 
keeps the Libyan sands ever moving towards the Nefud.' 

This is encouraging information, and if we may assume that a 
choice of starting ground anywhere along the length of the Red Sea, 
and as far as Aden, is at the option of the aeronaut, then the journey, 
with only a moderately fast wind, does not appear very formidable. 

A few principal routes work out somewhat thus. Starting from 
Aden, the Persian Gulf could be reached by balloon in nine hundred 
miles. From a point a little below Mecca the breadth of the country 
could be crossed with a W.S.W. wind in seven hundred miles, as 
equally from a point above Mecca, while from the first of these places, 
with a due west wind, the coast could be reached in about a thousand 
miles, and from the latter in eight hundred miles. With a north or 
south wind an important section of the peninsula could be traversed 
in five hundred miles, while from Mascat a yet shorter but service- 
able voyage might be carried out. 

It will be seen that the Persian Gulf offers peculiar facilities for 
the ressue of the balloon at the termination of its voyage ; and the 
nature and conditions of the task before the balloonist are the reverse 
of discouraging, as an impartial consideration will show ; his special 
mode of travel, as compared with others, having distinct and all- 
important advantages. 

When a vessel is frozen in, her limit is already reached ; when the 
last camel is down, the traveller must take his final and hopeless 
survey ; but the resources belonging to the balloonist are more elastic 
and more reliable. If the wind before which he drifts is inadequate 
or contrary, it is within his power to seek other altitudes, with the 

s 2 


strong probability of meeting with other currents ; while the pro- 
longation of his travel is simply a question of initial cost and cubic 
capacity. When Count de la Vaulx landed in Poland he had still a 
large quantity of ballast remaining, and it was a debated point with 
him whether he should not add to his splendid achievement that of 
the further crossing of a desolate Russian steppe. 

Coming now to the consideration of practical results which might 
be hoped for, and at the same time of the utter hopelessness of 
obtaining such results by any other means under political and physical 
difficulties at present existing, I may quote some recent and very 
valuable notes which have been generously supplied me by an accom- 
plished engineer and traveller whose knowledge and experience can 
be second to none. 

Colonel A. T. Fraser, C.E., in a paper read before the Society of 
Arts in 1895, advocated the construction of a railway across Arabia 
at the 30th Parallel, and a few years later went to Akabah to deter- 
mine where such a railway should cross the valley previous to entering 
Arabia, which he considered the chief engineering difficulty. It may 
be seen from any good map that this proposed line practically marks 
the easiest possible route across the country, as also that where 
climatic conditions, as judged by the evidences of habit ability, would 
be least severe. 

Colonel Fraser, then, learning that Egyptian authorities could not 
get him Turkish permission, proceeded to Jerusalem, whence he was 
allowed to go to Maan and the 30th Parallel, the Turks, however, 
declaring they could not let him go more than one march south of 
that, or into the Akabah Pass, on any consideration. It ended in 
their granting him the run of Mount Hor for the sake of making 
observations, and Colonel Fraser, taking a small camp, remained two 
nights ; but the Bedouins saw his lights, and there were signs that it 
would have been unsafe to stay longer. 

Any consideration of the projected Bagdad Railway would, it is 
unnecessary to say, be outside the present discussion. In the opinion 
of the secretary of the Ottoman Railway Company the enterprise 
would not pay for carriage grease ; and, whether this be so or no, it 
suffices to say that Bagdad approaches the 34th Parallel, while the 
district which would be opened up is already sufficiently well known 
and not calculated to repay development. 

As to the feasibility of effecting a balloon inflation at a more 
southerly latitude, which should preferably be on the shore of the Red 
Sea, and which should lead to a sky passage across a tract of the 
peninsula of perhaps the greatest economic value, Colonel Fraser 
insists that an ascent from the east of the Red Sea would not be 
easy, as it is the sacred province of the Medjar, confirming this opinion 
by the fact that he himself could not so much as unroll a map of his 
route in a Euphrates valley if there were any Turks about. 


To meet this difficulty, it may be pointed out that it would not 
add more than a few miles to the voyage if the inflation were effected 
on the west bank of the Red Sea ; and possibly it might even be 
carried out with no great difficulty, and with perfect immunity from 
trouble, from one of the many islands in the lower latitudes of that sea: 

Lastly, there is conceivably the expedient now being developed of 
a self-contained hot-air balloon, for the success of which the air lying 
over Southern Arabia would be specially favourable. 

It remains to give due attention to such meagre information 
regarding Central Arabia as we at present possess, and to consider the 
knowledge we might hope to gain by balloon exploration, and here we 
would first examine a map prepared from facts supplied by Mr. Hogarth 
and others ; and, by way of sample of the country, let us note that a 
central patch, marking what we may regard as the heart of the northern 
half of the country, and standing, roughly speaking, between the 
parallels of 27 and 29, is claimed to be partially known. Let us, 
however, further estimate what this really means. I take it that no 
more experienced or adventurous explorer ever penetrated into the 
Arabian interior than Mr. Wilfrid S. Blunt, whose route and survey, 
drawn Jby his own hand, has been published by the Royal Geographical 
Society. To use his own words, he finds this portion of Central 
Arabia occupying its old condition of an almost fabulous land, whose 
real nature is still a matter of doubt if not of curiosity. For more 
than two hundred miles from Kaf to Jof there is no inhabited place, 
while it is only along the course of the Wady that there are wells 
which attract the Bedouins. Jof itself has some five hundred houses 
and palm gardens, and in its whole oasis there may be seven thousand 
souls. Thence, with a splendid equipment of camels, it cost the 
experienced traveller eleven days to cross the Nefud a true and 
typical desert, and yet so far^from unproductive that its mere red 
sand after rain becomes actually covered so Mr. Blunt believes 
with grass and flowers. More than this, it is, we learn, in one way 
blest above all other places ' fleas do not exist there.' Of that land 
Sir H. Rawlinson has said that it is the most romantic in the world, 
with a sort of weird mystery about it from the very difficulty of 
penetrating it. Mr. Hogarth adds his own testimony as to this 
approach to Arabia, asserting that it is only entered with great diffi- 
culty and pain by man and beast, so that present-day pilgrims have 
almost abandoned the land route for the sea ; and the central plateau 
is become more an island than ever. If, now, we pass to examine 
the rich and, from its neighbourhood to the seaboard, the more 
accessible oasis of Hasa, the land of running streams and many springs, 
we find it is but a mere narrow strip, while immediately without to 
south and west ' stretches the unknown.' Further yet, when we turn 
to the nearer and more luxuriant spots of the south-west corner of 
the peninsula, the portal, as it were, of J:he region we seek to reach, 


the alluring plains which ere now have led explorers to hope to gain a 
footing, whence they might extend our knowledge the ' Happy 
Arabia ' of ancient geographers where once the waters were held 
back by huge artificial dams, we find ourselves equally baulked, for 
we learn that the newest of these works is no later than the sixth 
century. All are broken now, and the waters filter away, allowing 
the sand to creep once more about the villages. 

Enough. We can but avail ourselves of such legendary informa- 
tion as is to hand to at least form some allowable conjecture of what 
the great unknown has to reveal, and how well worth at least a cur- 
sory survey. It appears that from whatever side this region is ap- 
proached, tribesmen dwelling on the outskirts have, in place of any 
definite information, mere tales of awe and wonder bred of a certain 
superstitious terror. It is a wilderness upon which Nature vents her 
fiercer moods ; it is a land of wrath where the earth is shaken and the 
soil in perpetual unrest. There is a vague talk of saline oases and of 
wild palm groves ; but it is said that ere men can reach these the 
earth opens to engulf them, or they are swallowed up in subtly shifting 
quicksands. The mysteriousness of these reports endows the country 
with a species of enchantment, and we can no longer regard the 
so-called desert as a mere waste the more so when we unmistakably 
trace up to the limit of where any European has yet trodden how 
beneficently Nature has dealt with the land, converting the desert 
soil into very gardens of Paradise, and whole regions into luxuriant 
fertility. Every thoughtful traveller through the Red Sea must look 
out over those blue mountains to the eastward, and feel that beyond 
those far and fascinating slopes must lie the hope of new discovery 
and fresh scope for enterprise. 

Now, if the generally accepted estimate of the upper wind currents 
is fairly correct, then, for a preliminary aerial survey, a balloon no 
larger than that recently employed by Count de la Vaulx might 
suffice, especially if the mode of inflation by hydrogen, artificially 
produced on the field, were adopted, and for the rest little more would 
be needed than a proper outlook maintained on the eastern shore of 
the peninsula. This, of course, is essential, as at the end of the 
voyage the aeronaut will need certain efficient assistance. If he 
elect to alight on the coast, he will not succeed in doing so without 
assuredly having been sighted by the fanatical native, who, to say 
the least, is liable to give trouble. If, on the other hand, he prefer 
to drop on the water, as many a balloonist has with safety done ere 
now, then there must be those afloat and sufficiently near at hand 
who, having been watching the balloon in the sky, will have oppor- 
tunity to direct their course and ' stand by.' 

An initial experiment, altogether inexpensive, comparatively 
speaking, and readily carried out, should be made by fleets of pilot 
balloons designed to remain aloft in such a climate as the Arabian 


desert for the time considered sufficient to cross the breadth of the 
country, dismissed from chosen positions on the west side, and looked 
out for on all the available places on the eastern seaboard. It would 
not be necessary that these should be captured. If batches were 
dismissed from different points on different pre-arranged dates, and 
if after crossing the land any were sighted in the sky, the route that 
they had taken, as also the time of transit, would be well determined. 

But so far we have not said all that is to be advanced as to the 
chances on the side of the aeronaut. Should it appear from pre- 
liminary tests that the passage across the peninsula would occupy a 
longer even a far longer period than we have assumed, the resources 
of the aeronaut may yet by special means be rendered fully equal to 
meet any enforced detention in the sky. Ordinary aerial voyages, 
though they seldom fail through any inanition of the balloon itself, 
are nevertheless commonly undertaken without any special econo- 
mising of the gas which, for safety against bursting as also for the sake 
of a certain indolent convenience, is allowed to escape by natural 
diffusion from the neck of the balloon, kept constantly open. A 
suitably devised valve, however, might be made to considerably 
diminish this waste of gas at the lower aperture ; while from the upper 
opening, usually closed with a hinged valve, the ordinary and by no 
means negligible amount of leakage can be entirely obviated by a 
solid valve of varnished silk, which is firmly bound over the aperture, 
and which remains perfectly impervious until finally rent open at 
the termination of the voyage. But should it be considered that, 
even so, a single balloon would not possess sufficient ' life ' for due 
safety, then a method that has been advocated by practical aeronauts, 
but never yet needed to be put in force, could be adopted. This con- 
sists in starting on the voyage, not with a single balloon, but with 
two or more in tandem, and so arranged that when by lapse of time 
the main balloon became unduly shrunken it might be replenished by 
the gas from a spare balloon, which could then be discarded. 

Anyhow, the fact remains that seventy years ago a balloon of no 
extraordinary size, and with no special fittings, inflated, moreover, 
only by household gas, then but recently adopted for ballooning pur- 
poses, carried three passengers and an enormous reserve of ballast 
across five hundred miles in eighteen hours. This voyage, conducted 
by Charles Green, extended from London to the heart of the German 
Forests, and was continued, moreover, through a long, cold winter 
night, which must have told considerably against its sustentation, 
yet at its termination, dictated only by considerations of convenience, 
SD much ballast was still remaining that there can be no reasonable 
doubt that with the sun about to rise the length of the journey might 
have been doubled if desired. It may further be pointed out that 
no balloon voyage soever yet undertaken in Europe or America has 
been carried through under conditions which would tend most to its 


prolongation. This is easily made clear, for wheresoever in balloon 
travel there is much diversity of country traversed there will also be 
frequent variations in the amount of heat radiated into the sky, a 
fact which influences the height at which a balloon would ride not 
only directly but indirectly also, owing to the vertical currents as- 
cending and descending which will be engendered. And this is but 
the smaller disturbing element in the sky to be met with commonly 
over European or American soil. A greater disturbance in equilibrium 
will be found in the diversity of cloud and sunshine assuredly to be 
encountered in any extended travel. Passing in and out or even in 
the neighbourhood of cloud in the free sky commonly causes great 
variation of temperature within the envelope of a balloon, and then 
great waste of its life inevitably ensues. This may be readily under- 
stood, for any accession of heat causes an immediate rise to higher 
altitudes, where, external pressure being diminished, a certain loss of 
gas is the consequence, followed presently by a descent of the balloon 
below its previous level, which can only be regained by another loss, 
equally serious that of ballast. 

Now it is not to be doubted that the above-mentioned frequent 
vicissitudes would be practically eliminated in the case of a sky 
passage across such country as lower Central Arabia must be supposed 
to be, while the withdrawal of the sun's rays at night would simply 
entail a steady subsidence of the balloon to some lower altitude, where 
the heat steadily radiated from the now adjacent earth would keep 
it at a safe, if not at a constant, level without waste of ballast. Thus 
an aeronaut of experience should have no difficulty in remaining in 
the sky throughout any period that might be rendered necessary. 

A further all-important point remains as to whether the aeronaut 
voyager could keep in touch with earth by means of wireless tele- 
graphy. Of this possibility I am able up to a certain point to speak 
from actual experience in a trial specially organised four years ago. 
At the hands of all experimenters one main obstacle had been found 
in the disturbing influence of earth. Across water success was inva- 
riably greater than over land a fact which, indeed, continues to be 
borne out in the most recent practice. It then naturally suggested 
itself that a suitable instrument, transported high above the earth's 
surface in a balloon, and put in due communication with another 
instrument on the ground, might act with far greater advantage than 
would similar apparatus operating between two land stations. And 
this actually proved to be the case. 

The apparatus was designed by Mr. Nevil Maskelyne, who also 
presided at the ground station. The trial took place on the occasion 
of the garden party of the British Association meeting at Bradford. 
Here the ground station was established at one end of Lister Park, 
while a small mine with an electric igniter was also constructed, and 
thisjt was my task to endeavour to fire five minutes after I had risen 


into the sky. The balloon carried both receiving and transmitting 
instruments, making up a somewhat heavy apparatus, which unfor- 
tunately suffered several smart concussions from impact with the 
ground during a rough and difficult launching. It required the five 
minutes' grace allowed me to restore the working parts of the instru- 
ments to something like order, and, this interval having elapsed, I 
pressed the button, at the same time calling the attention of my 
companion in the car Sir Edmund Fremantle to the fact. In 
about fifteen seconds the report of the exploded mine was loudly 
heard, confirming our own estimate of distance, which amounted to 
some three miles. 

According to agreement, during the next five minutes the re- 
ceiving instrument was now switched into action, and the signalling 
of my colleague was at once found to be going forward, and in per- 
fect order. Moreover, his messages had in no way deteriorated in 
clearness after the balloon had sailed thirty miles away, and was then 
settling to earth. On the other hand, it was found that after the 
firing of the mine a wire in the transmitting instrument, which had 
received damage at the start, had parted, and thus the majority of 
the messages from the balloon were lost. 

This, as I have stated, was four years ago, and the methods of 
wireless telegraphy have so greatly improved since that no shadow of 
doubt remains in my mind as to its successful use over very extended 
land distances, where one of the stations is a high-flying balloon. 
Presumably the chief obstacle would be, as in the case at sea, the 
interference of a thunderstorm region ; but though this may be con- 
stantly feared amid the storm systems of the Atlantic, the case must 
be far otherwise over the arid plains of Arabia. 

In the venture thus far sketched out, the advantage that would 
accrue if the balloon were equipped with wireless telegraphy instru- 
ments must be now apparent, for not only could the traveller con- 
tinue to transmit back to his base a connected description of the land 
opened up to his view, but in due course he could announce to some 
appointed look-out station on the far shore his approximate course, 
with a view to timely succour. 


Coldash, Newbury. 



IN the month of June 1852 I was sitting at my desk in the Foreign 
Office when I was sent for by Lord Malmesbury, recently appointed 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. He told me to start as soon 
as possible for Florence, to which Legation he had attached me, and 
where hands were very much wanted. I started, I think, the next 
day, and after rather a difficult journey, now much easier, I arrived at 

In those days one had to go by railway from Paris to Chalons, 
then down the Saone by river to Lyons, where one was transferred 
to another boat for the passage down the Rhone to Avignon. At 
Avignon one found the railway again, and in three hours arrived at 
Marseilles. Thence the steamer went on to Genoa and Leghorn. 

On arriving at Florence I was desired to go to the Villa Salviati, 
on the hills beyond the Porta San Gallo, a beautiful old villa, subse- 
quently purchased by Mario, the great tenor. It was then occupied 
by Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, the head of the Mission to the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany. I arrived at about ten in the morning, and made the 
acquaintance of Sir Henry Bulwer, a most remarkable figure in 
British diplomacy. I had before known several of his relations who 
lived in Norfolk, and subsequently to this visit, and all through life, 
I have been more or less in frequent communication with some 
member of the family. 

Sir Henry Bulwer had passed, and continued later, a very varied 
career, accumulating a vast amount of experience. He had been in 
the Life Guards, in diplomacy at Paris, at Brussels, at Constantinople, 
where he negotiated a treaty of commerce, at St. Petersburg, and again 
at Paris ; and in 1843, only sixteen years after his entrance into diplo- 
macy at Berlin as an attache, he was made Envoy Extraordinary and 
Minister Plenipotentiary to the Queen of Spain. 

After holding office for five years in Spain, during a period of un- 
exampled activity and excitement, Marshal Narvaez had caused him 
to be expelled on account of alleged communications with the revolu- 

At that time the English Government had adopted a tone making 


it very unpopular in foreign retrogressive countries. Lord Palraerston, 
then Foreign Minister, whose great career it is not for me to criticise, 
had laid down as his policy the advocacy of constitutional against 
despotic forms of government in the countries where England had 
influence. England had certainly taken great part in the politics of 
Spain. She had co-operated openly with the Cristina and theCristino 
party for the establishment of the young Queen Isabella, and had 
authorised recruiting in England for an armed body known as the 
British Auxiliary Legion, organised and commanded by an English 
General, Sir De Lacy Evans. 

Subsequently to his leaving Spain, Sir Henry Bulwer had been 
appointed Envoy Extraordinary at Washington, where he negotiated 
and concluded the well-known Clayton-Bulwer Treaty. It was signed 
one evening by himself and Mr. Webster over a cigar. From Washington 
he was, at his own request, transferred as Minister to the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany in 1852. This he resigned in 1855. He did not intend, 
however, his retirement to be permanent, and in 1856^he was named 
Commissioner, under the Treaty of Paris, to investigate the state of 
the Danubian Principalities, and to propose a basis for their future 
organisation. It may here be said parenthetically that the object 
held in view by Europe was to a certain extent frustrated by 
the extraordinary self-control on the part of the inhabitants of 
the Principalities during the sittings of the Commission. By the 
treaty it had been stipulated that the Principalities of Moldavia 
and Wallachia were to be kept separate, the creation of one State 
being considered dangerous to the welfare of Turkey. Such were 
the lines on which the Commission proceeded, and they carefully 
laid down an organisation for each Principality separately. But one 
factor had been overlooked. It had been laid down that, when the 
constitutions had been drawn up, the people of the two Principali- 
ties should each elect their own prince. To the astonishment of 
everybody, an unlooked-for development occurred from the action 
of the two populations when each Principality elected the same man, 
Colonel Couza. Thus, while the stipulations of the treaty had been 
carried out, the populations in a legal manner practically consolidated 
the two Principalities into one. This took place in 1858, in which 
year Sir Henry Bulwer was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary 
and Plenipotentiary at Constantinople. 

He retired from the service in 1865, was elected M.P. for Tarn worth 
in 1868, and in 1871 was created Baron Bailing and Bulwer, in the 
county of Norfolk, his younger brother, Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 
having previously been raised to the peerage by the title of Lord 

I have rather diverged from my original intention to limit my 
remarks to the personality of Sir Henry Bulwer as he then was at 
Florence. The political situation was difficult. Tuscany was occupied 


by the Austrians, who, notwithstanding Lord Palmerston's retire- 
ment, still associated England and her representative with his policy. 
These difficulties had been increased by an assault on a British subject, 
Mr. Erskine Mather, who stood in the way of an Austrian officer 
marching with his regiment. The officer cut him down with his sword, 
and the relations between Great Britain and Austria became very 
strained. This incident was followed by many others. It was related 
that water accidentally thrown out of a window by a tradesman had 
fallen on the Grand Duke, who was passing. The tradesman, horrified, 
rushed before the carriage, and, falling on his knees, begged for forgive- 
ness. The Grand Duke replied kindly, adding, ' It is lucky for the 
Minister I am not an Englishman, or there would certainly have been 
a question with the British Legation.' The Legation was then also 
engaged in advocating the cause of the Madiai, an old couple 
imprisoned on the accusation of proselytism. 

W Much bitterness was avoided by the tact, amiable bearing, and 
profound knowledge of character of Sir Henry Bulwer. At this time 
my colleagues at the Legation were Mr. Lytton, the son of Sir Edward 
Lytton, who had been attached to his uncle's Mission at Washington, 
and had come to Florence after his father's victorious return for 
Hertfordshire as a Protectionist. He was later Minister at Lisbon, 
Governor-General of India, and Ambassador at Paris, where he died. 
The other was Mr. Fenton, who had for many years followed Sir Henry 
Bulwer as his secretary. He still survives, after an honourable and 
useful career at many posts, having elected to reside at the Hague, 
the scene of his latest employment, and where he possesses many 

Florence had always been a favourite post for statesmen requiring 
repose, and Sir Henry Bulwer was succeeded in those functions by 
Lord Normanby, who had been Viceroy of Ireland, a Minister in 
various English Governments, and Ambassador at Paris. The family 
of Bulwer is remarkably accomplished and gifted. Sir Henry Bulwer's 
elder brother, though living quietly as a country squire in Norfolk, 
was no doubt a man of great capacity, which could very usefully have 
been employed in the public service. He left three sons one, like his 
father, an exemplary county magnate ; the second a very distin- 
guished general officer of the army ; while his younger brother, Sir 
Henry Bulwer, has made a great reputation in several important 
governorships, amongst others Natal and Cyprus. 

Lord Dalling himself had a most remarkable personal charm, and, 
though he had many adversaries and critics, few could withstand the 
attraction of his manner and the interest of his conversation. He 
had lived with very remarkable men with Prince Talleyrand, Prince 
Lieven, Count d'Orsay, Lord Beaconsfield, Lord Melbourne, Lord 
Palmerston, besides many other English statesmen. 

In his conversation he always appeared, and I believe naturally, 


to take a great personal interest in those with whom he was speaking. 
He also took a joke against himself in good part. At Florence both 
he and I lived on intimate terms with Charles Lever. The latter 
could not refrain from noticing the weaknesses of his friends, and in 
one of his novels he ascribed to a diplomatist, by name, I think, Sir 
Horace Upton, one of Sir Henry Bulwer's characteristics, viz., always 
thinking himself ill and taking medicine. A long time after we had 
separated officially I called on Sir Henry Bulwer in London. While 
talking he rang for his valet to give him a dose, saying to me, ' I can 
never take a pill without thinking of that confounded novel of Lever's 
and Sir Horace Upton.' I did not know he had read the work. 

The great peculiarity of his conversation was that he had evidently 
codified his life in fixed axioms"andj)roverbial sayings. Two or three 
of these now occur to me. He used to say, ' Whenever you speak 
with a man older than yourself, always recollect that, however stupid 
he may be, he thinks himself wiser than you because he is older.' 
He would quote a saying of Talleyrand, which was, ' Acknowledge 
the receipt of a book from the author at once : this relieves you of 
the necessity of saying whether you have read it.' He laid down as 
a rule, quoting it from somebody else, I believe Lord de Ros, that you 
should never cut anyone, as your so doing deprives you of an oppor- 
tunity of saying disagreeable things to him. He would also say, 
* Never discuss, because neither you nor your adversary will give in 
to the other, and he will ever consider you a stupid fellow for not 
agreeing with him.' He denned the advantage of matrimony as this : 
' That a wife will tell her husband truths which nobody else would 
venture to tell, and thus correct many of his defects.' He once said 
to me, and I think his observation is correct, that intimate friends 
are always about the same height. This he had found in his own 
case, and it is difficult for a tall man to be intimate with a short man, 
as they cannot talk confidentially when walking together. 

In 1864 a little social paper was started called the Owl. The 
contributors were men of considerable importance in politics, society, 
and literature. It was devised by Lord Glenesk, Mr. Evelyn Ashley, 
and Mr. Cameron of Lochiel, assisted later by Mr. Laurence Oliphant, 
and administered by the first with his well-known tact and discrimi- 
nation during the seven years of its existence. I do not know how 
far it is advisable or legitimate to enter into any details of this inter- 
esting publication, but suffice it to say that its pages occasionally 
contained papers by Lord Dalling. Amongst other contributions, 
he sent in a paper of proverbs ; these were not considered adapted 
to the columns of the Owl, inasmuch as they did not relate to any 
passing circumstances of the day, but were of an abstract and general 
character. Shortly before Lord Balling's death I paid him a visit, 
first at Hyeres, later at Trieste. Here we stayed with Charles Lever, 
who, as has been mentioned, had been a friend of both of us from 


Florence days. He was on his way to Egypt, from which journey he 
never returned home, as he died on the 23rd of May, 1872, if I recollect 
right, at Naples on his way home. Lord Bailing gave to me his 
rejected proverbs, begging me some day, when I found an opportunity, 
to publish them. This I now do, in the hope that they may be admired 
by others as much as I have admired them. 



The maxims of wisdom are the pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope : they 
remain for ever unchanged and in the same case ; but every age shakes them 
into a new combination of colours. 

In nine cases out of ten, a man who cannot explain his ideas is the dupe of 
his imagination in thinking he has any. 

To say to a man when you ask him a favour, ' Don't do it if it incon- 
veniences you,' is a mean way of saving yourself from an obligation, and 
depriving another of the merit of conferring one. 

The flattery of one's friends is required as a dram to keep up one's spirits 
against the injustice of one's enemies. 

Do not trust to your railroads, nor your telegraphs, nor your schools, as a 
test of civilisation ; the real refinement of a nation is to be found in the justice 
of its ideas and the courtesy of its manners. 

The knowledge of the most value to us is that which we gain so insensibly 
and gradually as not to perceive we have acquired it until its effect becomes 
visible in our conduct. 

The quiet of a city is the quiet that one most appreciates, for the sense of 
quiet in the country is lost by want of contrast. 

You will never be trusted if you do more to gain an enemy than to serve a 

You are not obliged to give your hand to anyone ; but never give your 

The way to be always respected is to be always in earnest. 

When you notice a vague accusation you give it a reality and turn a shadow 
into a substance. 

You cannot show a greater want of tact than in attempting to console a 
person by making light of his grief. 

. One of .the charms of an intimacy between two persons of different sexes is 
that the man loves the woman for qualities he does not envy, and the woman 
appreciates the man for qualities she does not pretend to possess. 

The best way of effacing a failure is to obtain a success. 

.. .Friendship .and; familiarity are twin sisters, very much alike, but rarely 

agreeing.,., .,.;..-, 

Whilst a second- rUte man is considering how he should take the lead, a first- 
rate man takes it. 


There are a great many idle men constantly busy about something which 
they know is not the thing that ought to occupy them. 

When you go into mixed company, the air you should carry with you there 
is that of fearing no one and wishing to offend no one. 

Religious persecution is the effe ct of an exaggerated vanity rendered ferocious 
by the best intentions. 

If you expect a disagreeable thing, meet it and get rid of it as soon as you 
can ; if you expect anything agreeable, you need not be in such a hurry, for the 
anticipation of pain is pain the anticipation of pleasure, pleasure. 

The practical man is he who turns life to the best account for himself; the 
good man, he who teaches others how to do so. 

Only let those know you intimately who speak well of you ; and only know 
intimately those of whom you can speak well. 

An obstinate man dies in maintaining a post which is utterly defenceless. A 
resolute man does not abandon his fortress as long as he can bring a gun to bear 
on the enemy. 

You may be gentle in your dealings with men just as you can be firm. Never 
say ' no ' from pride, nor ' yes ' from weakness. 

The great art of speaking and writing is that of knowing what to leave 

It is very difficult to get stupid people to change their opinions, for they find 
it so hard to get an idea that they don't like to lose one. 

To despair is to bury one's self alive. 

We have never won a complete victory when we have not gained the good 
will of those we have subdued. 

If you can associate your career with the ideas of your epoch, you will be 
sympathised with if you fail, and forgiven if you succeed. 

A dwarf, a hunchback, and a natural son are never at their ease in the 
world, for they entered it with a sore which some vanity is always rubbing. 

The best trait in a man's character is an anxiety to serve those who have 
obliged him once and can do so no more. 

Always go out of your way to serve a friend ; never to avoid a foe. 

Some men ride a steeplechase after fortune ; some seek it leisurely on the 
beaten track ; and some hope to attain it by a new path which they think they 
have discovered. The first arrive rapidly or not at all ; the second arrive surely, 
but generally too late ; the last usually lose their way, but are so charmed with 
their road that they forget the object of their journey. 

Friendships are founded on character ; intimacy, on habits. 

You are no better for being well thought of by those you live with if the 
world thinks ill of them, and you gain nothing by living with those of whom 
the world thinks well if they think ill of you. 

Nothing is so common as to make a great blunder in order to remedy a small 


A Spanish proverb says that ' He who makes himself all sugar, the flies will 
eat him up ; ' but another observes, ' He who makes himself all vinegar will 
never catch any flies.' 

Striking actions make reputations ; useful ones, a career. 

A lady at Court assured the Prince de Conti in his later days that he was as 
young as ever. ' No,' he said, ' Madame, and I will tell you how I discovered 
it. Formerly, when I paid your sex compliments, they were taken for declara- 
tions ; now, when I make a lady a declaration, she takes it for a compliment.' 
We can always ascertain what we really are if we do not blind ourselves as to 
the effect we produce. 

Superior men rarely underrate the talents of those who are inferior to them. 
Inferior men nearly always underrate the talents of those whose abilities are 
above their own ; for the tendency of genius is to raise to its own height, that 
of mediocrity to depress to its own level. 

You cannot do anyone more good than by trying unsuccessfully to do him 
an injury. 

Man is by nature a hunter, who cares more for the sport of the chase than the 
prey he is in quest of. This is why the objects we seek after are not to be esti- 
mated by the pains we take to procure them. People say, ' Why give yourself 
so much trouble for so small a pleasure ? ' They forget that the trouble is the 
main part of the pleasure. 

Bad temper and bad manners are equally bad habits, which we indulge in 
because they rather affect others than ourselves. Few find it difficult to govern 
the first when they are in the presence of those whom it is their interest not to 
offend, and almost everyone can correct the last when he is in the presence of 
those he is desirous to please. 

A man's expressions of gratitude are according to the service he receives ; 
his feelings of gratitude according to the manner in which the service was 

Vanity shows itself in a person in two ways : by the endeavour to please, and 
by the confidence that he does please. The first makes an agreeable impression, 
the latter quite the reverse. 

The worst thing that you can do, if you wish to be well with the world, is to 
let it see that you are afraid of losing its good opinion. 

If you begin by thinking that nothing can be done without difficulty, you 
will end by doing everything with facility. 

Many people who seem clever are merely plated with the cleverness of 

Nothing is so focllsh as to be wise out of season. 

Make anyone think he has been clever or agreeable, and he will think you 
have been so. 



PEPYS as the statesman, the connoisseur, the musician, or the man of 
letters, is full of interest for the student ; but it is Pepys the man who 
chiefly charms the fancy of ordinary folk. Not that his character 
was either powerful or without blemish. On the contrary, in the 
strange medley of qualities which his Diary reveals, we find resolution 
and cowardice, integrity and meanness, selfishness and benevolence, 
cultivated tastes and vulgar aspirations, religious earnestness and 
moral laxity, linked in a bewildering companionship. But so far as 
it extends, the Diary tells the story of a life which was lived to the 
utmost, and the intense humanity which throbs through it makes 
even its smallest details tingle. And many of the details are small 
enough. A greater man would have passed them over in silence ; a 
smaller man would have presented them as lifeless trivialities. But 
everything connected with himself was full of importance to Pepys, 
and thus the minutiae of the Diary seem to have caught fire at the 
flame of his personality. This has given to the minor characters an 
interest which they would not otherwise have acquired. Though we 
know them only imperfectly, they are real men and women to us, not 
mere descriptions. The central figure does not throw the others into 
shade, but kindles them into brightness. Yet the illumination is 
partial only. So far as they enter into his life of the moment, they 
are caught up and carried along by its story ; but let them once drop 
out of it, and they pass straightway into oblivion. They shine, but 
not with their own light ; and, though not devoid of individual interest, 
their value lies rather in what they reveal to us of the life and sur- 
roundings of Pepys himself.- 

Among these lesser figures Mary Mercer stands conspicuous. She 
became Mrs. Pepys' maid in the autumn of 1664, and her intimacy 
with the family for the next four years covered the brightest and 
most interesting part of the period with which the Diary deals. The 
previous experience of the Pepyses in their domestic servants had been 
chequered. Jane Wayneman, their servant when the Diary opens 
(January 1, 1659), was a single-handed ' general,' and it was not 
till some months later, in November 1660, that Mrs. Pepys could 
indulge in the luxury of a maid of her own. Pepys' own sister, Paulina, 
VOL. LVI No. 330. 269 T 


then came to them in this capacity. Such a situation is at best 
beset with difficulties, and as a matter of fact the experiment was 
not a success. Pepys himself attempted it with many misgivings, 
and out of pure benevolence to his sister. But ' Pall ' was not an 
amiable character. He was ' afeard of her ill temper ' ; and this was 
not the worst of her faults, for, even as a guest, she had been caught 
pilfering. He determined to keep her in her place from the first, 
and refused to let her sit at table with himself and his wife, ' so that 
she may not expect it hereafter ' from him. However, she soon 
grew lazy, and demoralised the other maid, Jane. Matters finally 
came to a head on the 25th of August 1661, and after a stormy inter- 
view, at which he ' brought down her proud spirit,' it was arranged 
that she should retire to his father's house at Brampton in Hunting- 
donshire, whither she departed on the 5th of September 1661, ' crying 
exceedingly,' with 20s. and some excellent advice from Pepys. Some 
others followed in rather rapid succession, none of whom were of any 
note except the brilliant Gosnell, whose term of service, however, 
was only four or five days from the 4th to the 9th of December 
1662. Ostensibly she was withdrawn by her uncle, Justice Jiggins, 
who required her services for some special business. But from Pepys' 
account of the matter she seems to have expected more liberty than 
she would have obtained in his household, and probably was not 
unwilling to give up her place. Shortly afterwards we hear of her 
appearance on the stage, where she rose to considerable distinction. 
By this time the number of servants in the house had increased to at 
least three ; but Mrs. Pepys seems to have managed without a maid 
of her own till Mary Ashwell was engaged in this capacity on the 
12th of March 1662, at 4Z. a year. Pepys considered these wages 
(equivalent to about 181. of our money) high ; but on the 6th of October 
1666, he speaks of a maid who asked 20Z. a year, and who, though 
coming with a great reputation, turned out to be ' a tawdry wench who 
would take 81.' It is not quite easy to determine whether it was 
servants' wages or Pepys' ideas which had risen in the interval of four 
years. Pretty, witty, a good dancer, and ' with a very fine carriage ' 
which put his wife's to shame, Ashwell delighted Pepys with her 
merry talk, and still more with her musical ability. Before long, 
however, Mrs. Pepys, stimulated perhaps by the ' very fine carriage,' 
became jealous, reproaching her husband and rating her maid. 
Domestic relations became very strained, and once, much to Pepys' 
annoyance, there was an altercation between them at Hinchingbrooke 
House. At length they came to blows, and soon afterwards Ashwell 
left, on the 25th of August 1663. 

Incidents of this kind, though somewhat startling to us, were by 

no means unusual in the domestic life of the period; 1 Mrs. Pepys 

seems to have used her fists freely in her household management, 

though, judging by her portrait, the punishment can hardly have 

1 Domestic Life under the Stuarts, by Elizabeth Godfrey, p. 209. 


been very painful. On the llth of January 1663, Pepys, being 
angered at the idleness of his servants, directs his wife ' to beat at 
least the little girl ' ; and on a subsequent occasion the same or a 
similar small culprit was punished rather mercilessly for the sins of the 
others (February 19, 1664) : 

At supper, hearing by accident of rny rnayds their letting in a rogueing- 
Scotch woman that haunts the office, to helpe them to washe and secure in our 
house, and that very lately, I fell mightily out, and made my wife, to the 
disturbance of the house and neighbours, to beat our little girle, and then we 
shut her down into the cellar, and there she lay all night. 

He himself frequently chastises his boy, and he once committed 

an atrocious assault upon a woman servant (April 12, 1667) : 

Coming homeward again, saw my door and hatch open, left so by Luce, our 

cook mayde, which so vexed me that I did give her a kick in our entry and 
offered a blow at her. 

Nemesis, however, was present in the shape of Sir William Perm's 
footboy, who witnessed the incident, and as Pepys feared (pro- 
bably with good reason) would ' be telling the family of it.' Even 
Mrs. Pepys was not safe from corporal admonishment, and he once 
came to blows with her in bed an arena which must have seriously 
cramped the style of the combatants (October 7, 1664) : 

Lay pretty while with some discontent abed, even to the having bad words 
with my wife, and blows too, about the ill- serving of our victuals yesterday ; 
but all ended in love. 

Sometimes, however, she was not so easily appeased (December 19, 
1664) : 

Going to bed betimes last night we waked betimes, and from our people's 
being forced to take the key to go out to light a candle, I was very angry and 
begun to find fault with my wife, for not commanding her servants as she ought. 
Thereupon she giving me some cross answer, I did strike her over her left eye 
such a blow as the poor wretch did cry out and was in great pain, but yet her 
spirit was such as to endeavour to bite and scratch me. 

So again (July 12, 1667) : 

So home, and there find my wife in a dogged humour for my not dining at 
home, and I did give her a pull by the nose and some ill words, which she pro- 
voked me to by something she spoke, that we fell extraordinarily out, insomuch 
that I going to the office to avoid further anger, she followed me in a devilish 
manner thither, and with much ado I got her into the garden out of hearing'to 
prevent shame, and so home, and by degrees I found it necessary to calme her.. 

Our natural indignation at Pepys' behaviour is half paralysed by 
the indifference with which it is narrated. Cuffs and blows seem 
incidents of domestic life too ordinary for comment, and, though 
Pepys displays his usual sensitiveness to outside opinion on the 

T 2 


subject, internal family relations do not appear to have been dis- 
turbed by them. But it shows incidentally that, in reference to women, 
the chivalry of the day still savoured of the age when woman was 
' half wife, half chattel.' 

Five centuries before Pepys the Troubadours had preached, and 
to a certain extent effected, the deliverance of woman from this 
thraldom ; but even they could not wholly shake off the instincts of 
the old Adam. 

My boy, if you wish to make constant your Venus, 

Attend to the plan I disclose 
Her first naughty word you meet with a menace, 

Her next drop your fist on her nose. 

RUTHERFORD, TJie Tioubalou -s, p. 129. 

This was the advice of Rambaud of Vaquieras in the twelfth 
century, and it was evidently not out of date at the end of the seven- 

However, to return to the story. After Ashwell's departure, 
Mrs. Pepys remained without a lady's-maid for more than a year, til], 
t>n the 8th of September 1664, Mary Mercer came to fill her place. 
Her engagement had been a matter of much consideration by the 
Pepys. On the 28th of July 1664 he writes 

My present posture is thus : my wife in the country and my niayde Besse 
with her and all quiett there. I am endeavouring to find a woman for her to 
my mind, and above all one that understands musique, especially singing. I am 
the willinger to keepe one because I am in good hopes to get 2 or 3001. per 
annum extraordinary by the business of the victualling of Tangier. 

But as he further tells us : 

I do now live very prettily at home, being most seriously, quietly, and 
neatly served by my two mayds Jane and Sue, with both of whom I am 
mightily well pleased. 

It was accordingly with some misgivings that he ventured to 
disturb this peaceful state of things ; and even after Mercer had been 
definitely engaged, he writes on the 29th of August 1664 : 

But I must remember that, never since I was a housekeeper, I ever lived so 
quietly, without any noise or one angry word almost, as I have done since my 
present mayds Besse, Jane, and Susan came and were together. Now I have 
taken a boy and am taking a woman, I pray God we may not be worse, but 
I will observe it. 

The boy was Tom Edwards, also a songster, ' having been bred 
in the Kings Chappell these four years.' Pepys engaged him as 
a clerk, but no doubt with an eye to his musical capabilities. These 
gave great satisfaction to his master, who writes of him on the 9th of 
September 1664 : ' My boy, a brave boy, sings finely, and is the most 
pleasant boy at present, while his ignorant boy's tricks last, that I 


ever saw.' The last part of this eulogy may sound strange to us, 
but Pepys had a large heart. 

Mercer came on the recommendation of Will Hewer, Pepys' clerk 
and factotum, but the situation had almost been promised to ' a 
kinswoman ' of his friend Mr. Blagrave, who seems to have been 
prevented at the last moment by ill-health from accepting it. Pepys 
was at first not over-anxious to engage Mercer, for a reason which 
illustrates his sensitiveness to public opinion (August 1, 1664) : 

So home, and there talked long with Will about the young woman of his 
family which he spoke of for to live with my wife, but though she hath very 
many good qualitys, yet being a neighbour's child and young and not very staid, 
I dare not venture of having her, because of her being able to spread any report 
of our family upon any discontent among the heai*t of our neighbours. So that 
my dependence is upon Mr. Blagrave. 

So too in the following entry (August 31, 1664) : 

She is one that Will finds out for us, and understands a little musique, and" 
and I think will please us well, only her friends live too near us. 

And a similar fear of social criticism sharpens the sting of remorse 
for his behaviour to the ' cook mayde Luce ' already mentioned. But 
these doubts speedily vanished on the arrival of Mercer, who rose at 
once into high favour. Probably ' the strange slavery that I stand 
in to beauty, that I value nothing near it ' (September 6, 1664), 
contributed to her esteem in her master's eyes ; but independently 
of her looks, she undoubtedly possessed some attractive social qualities. 
Unlike poor Pall, she is admitted from the first to her master's dinner 
table (September 9, 1664) : 

Mercer dined with us at table, this being her first dinner in my house. After 
dinner left them and to White Hall, where a small Tangier Committee, and so 
back again home, and there my wife and Mercer and Tom and I sat till eleven 
at night, singing and fiddling, and a great joy it is to see me master of so 
much pleasure in my house, that it is and will be still, I hope, a constant 
pleasure to me to be at home. The girle plays pretty well upon the harpsicord, 
but only ordinary tunes, but hath a good hand ; sings a little, but hath a good, 
voyce and eare. 

Pepys must have made no secret of his admiration, for Mrs. Pepya 
very soon took occasion to interfere (September 19, 1664) : 

Up, my wife and I having a little anger about her woman alread}', she 
thinking that I take too much care of her at table to mind her (my wife) of 
cutting for her, but it soon over. 

Pepys, however, took the hint, and evidently became more dis- 
creet. On the 29th of September 1664 he finds Mercer playing on 
her ' Vyall,' ' So I to the Vyall and singing till late.' But with this 
exception we hear no more of music with her till the llth of November 
1664 ; and for many months afterwards, so far as appears from the 


Diary, there was nothing more than the most ordinary intercourse 
between master and maid. Moreover, in May 1665 the plague made 
its appearance, and on the 5th of July 1665 Mrs. Pepys and two of 
her maids leave London for Woolwich, her husband following early 
in September, and taking up his quarters at Greenwich, whither his 
office had been removed in the middle of August. Notwithstanding 
the natural anxieties of the time, he continued, as usual, to enjoy 
himself. He admits in his retrospect of the year (December 31, 1665) 
to the ' great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I 
was willing to indulge myself and my wife) at my lodgings.' Mercer 
figured in these entertainments and distinguished herself as a dancer. 
On the llth of October 1665 we hear of 

& fine company at my lodgings at Woolwich, where my wife and Mercer, and 
Mrs. Barbara danced, and mighty merry we were, but especially at Mercer's 
dancing a jigg, which she does the best I ever did see, having the most natural 
way of it, and keeps time the most perfectly I ever did see. 

This corroborates his previous testimony to her good ear. 

About this time, however, began Mrs. Pepys' quarrels with Mercer, 
which broke out periodically afterwards. Their first serious dispute 
occurred towards the end of August (August 29, 1665) : 

In the morning waking, among other discourse my wife began to tell me 
the difference between her and Mercer, and that it was only from restraining 
her to gad abroad to some Frenchmen that were in the town, which I do not 
wholly yet hi part believe, and for my quiet would not enquire into. 

Probably Pepys was right in concluding that the charge had a 
foundation in fact, though his wife's account of it might be rather 
highly coloured ; and every man must sympathise with his truly 
masculine cowardice in keeping clear of the quarrel altogether. 

Mrs. Pepys returned to their London home on the 2nd of December 
1665, but Pepys himself did not return there finally till the 7th of 
January 1666. In the February following, Mercer accompanies them 
on their visit to Sir George Carteret, at Cranbourne, and thence to 
Windsor. This visit, and the reception which greeted him, pleased 
Pepys' vanity enormously. As he tells us (February 26, 1665) : 

So much love and kindnesse from my Lady Carteret, Lady Jeniimah, and 
Lady Slaning, that it joys my heart, and when I consider the manner of my 
going hither, with a coach and four horses and servants and a woman with us, 
and coming hither being so much made of, and used with that state, and then 
going to Windsor and being shown all that we were there, and had wherewith 
to give every body something for their pains, and then going home, all in fine 
weather and no fears or cares upon me, I do thinke myself obliged to thinke 
myself happy. 

" Possibly the ladies may have been a little upset by their exertions, 


but we learn with regret that the harmony of this happy day ended in 
a discord. 

After a little at iny office, I to bed ; and an houre after was waked with 
my wife's quarrelling with Mercer, at which I was angry, and my wife and I 
fell out. But with much ado to sleep again, I beginning to practise more 
temper and give her her way. 

On the 8th of April 1666, Mrs. Pepys being at the time on a visit 
to his father at Brampton, we read : ' At night had Mercer to comb 
my head and so to supper, sing a psalm, and to bed.' This task, 
which Mercer was called upon more than once to undertake, may 
sometimes have been rather unpleasant. Personal cleanliness was 
not a strong feature of the period, and Pepys was in no way. ahead of 
his times in this respect. On the 23rd of January 1668 he tells us 
with the utmost composure that, suspecting the presence of parasites, 
he caused his wife to make the necessary search. His suspicions 
proved to be fully justified, and here the language of the Diary becomes 
too plain for our politer ears. But to Pepys the discovery was evi- 
dently insignificant, though he was moved to a mild astonishment at 
the numbers of the enemy, ' which I wonder at, being more than I 
have had I believe these twenty years.' Indeed, it almost seems 
from an entry of the 21st of February 1664 that he regarded cleanli- 
ness as a sort of affectation. 

My wife being busy in going with her woman to a hot house to bathe her- 
self, after her being long within doors in the dirt, so that she now pretends to a 
resolution of being hereafter very clean. How long it will hold I can guess. 

Mrs. Pepys returned somewhat unexpectedly, on the 19th of April 
1666, from her visit to Brampton, as to which Pepys observes : 
* Anon comes my wife from Brampton, not looked for till Saturday, 
which will hinder me of a little pleasure, but I am glad of her coming.' 
The remark concisely sums up his general attitude towards her. In 
his light-hearted way he was really fond of her, and liked her company. 
He pays a charming tribute to her care and affection for him in the 
days of their poverty, ' for which I ought ever to love and admire 
her, and do ' (February 25, 1666). And again he exclaims, ' For my 
part I and my wife will keep to one another and let the world go hang, 
for there is nothing but falseness in it' (March 5, 1666). But her 
follies and her indifferent management of the household annoyed 
him. Thus he writes bitterly on the 4th of February 1664 : 

Was cruelly vexed in my mind that all my trouble in this world almost should 
arise from my disorders in my family and the indiscretion of a wife that brings 
me nothing almost (besides a comely person) but only trouble and discontent. 

He was also rather in dread of her tongue and her temper, but he 
never hesitated to sacrifice her to his selfish pursuit of pleasure. 

And now we begin to hear more of those impromptu musical 


gatherings which form such a delightful element in the picture of 
his life. No time or place came amiss for them, and on one occasion 
he and Mercer sing together in Spring Garden till they collect a crowd 
round them. But it was mostly in his garden, or on his new leads, 
that he and his wife and Mercer, sometimes assisted by his boy, Tom, 
or by musical friends like Mr. Hill, would pass evening after evening 
in music and song. One instance will suffice (May 5, 1666) : 

About 11 I home, it being a fine moonshine and so my wife and Mercer 
come into the garden, and, my business being done, we sang till about twelve at 
night, with mighty pleasure to ourselves and neighbours, by their casements 
opening, and so home to supper and to bed. 

About this time his attachment to Mercer was evidently becoming 
stronger, and he was greatly disturbed by a serious quarrel between 
her and his wife, which resulted in the former returning to her mother's 
house on the 23rd of June 1666. Of this he writes : 

I to my papers, but vexed at what I^heard but a little of this morning, before 
my wife went out, that Mercer and she fell out last night, and the girle is gone 
home to her mother's for alltogcther. At the office all the morning, much dis- 
quiett in my mind in the middle of myVbusiness about this girle. Home at 
noon to dinner, and what with the going away of my father to-day and the losse 
of Mercer, I after dinner went up to my chamber and there could have cried 
to myself, had not people come to me about business. 

However, the quarrel was patched up, Mercer returned, and the 
musical parties were resumed. Thus we hear (July 24, 1666) : ' At 
noon to dinner, and after dinner with Mercer (as of late my practice 
is) a song and so to the office.' But, alas ! this furnished Mrs. Pepys 
with a new ground of offence (July 30, 1666) : 

Thence home ; and to sing with my wife and Mercer in the garden ; and 
coming in I find my wife plainly dissatisfied with me, that I can spend so much 
time with Mercer, teaching her to sing, and could never take the pains with her.. 
Which I acknowledge ; but it is because the girle do take musique mighty 
readily, and she do not, and musique is the thing of the world that I love most, 
and all the pleasure almost that I can now take. So to bed in some little 
discontent, but no words from me. 

Still matters seem to have proceeded on the old footing, Mercer 
continuing to be their companion as before in musical parties, picnics, 
and other entertainments. Certainly there was no unpleasant feeling 
on the 14th of August 1666, the Thanksgiving Day appointed for a 
victory over the Dutch, when the remarkable party at Mrs. Mercer's 
took place. The Diarist shall describe this for himself. 

And then about nine o'clock to Mrs. Mercer's gate, where the fire and boys 
expected us, and her son had provided abundance of serpents and rockets ; and 
there mighty merry (my Lady Penn and Pegg going thither with us, and Nan 
Wright), till about twelve at night, flinging our fireworks, and burning one 
another and the people over the way. And at last our businesses being most 


spent, we into Mrs. Mercer's, and there mighty merry, smutting one another 
with candle grease and soot, till most of us were like devils. And that being 
done, then we broke up, and to my house ; and there I made them drink, and 
upstairs we went, and then fell into dancing (W. Batelier dancing well), and 
dressing, him and I and one Mr. Banister (who with his wife come over also 
with us) like women ; and Mercer put on a suit of Tom's like a boy [" Oh, Mercer, 
Mercer ! "] and mighty mirth we had, and Mercer danced a jigg ; and Nan 
Wright and my wife and Pegg Pen put on periwiggs. Thus we spent till three 
or four in the morning, mighty merry ; and then parted, and to bed. 

After a night like this it is not surprising to find that the first 
entry in the Diary for the next day is ' Mighty sleepy.' But three 
weeks later the final quarrel occurred between Mrs. Pepys and Mercer, 
and on the 3rd of September 1666 Mercer was dismissed. This is 
Pepys' account of the affair : 

This day, Mercer being not at home, but against her mistress's order gone to 
her mother's, and my wife going thither to speak withW. Hewer, met her there, 
and was angry ; and her mother saying that she was not a 'prentice girl, to ask 
leave every time she goes abroad, my wife with good reason was angry, and 
when she came home, bid her begone again. And so she went away, which 
troubled me, but yet less than it would, because of the condition we are in, fear 
of coming into in a little time of being less able to keepe one in her quality. 

Pepys' fears were probably due to the Great Fire which was then 
raging ; but his allusion to Mercer's ' quality ' seems to indicate that 
she was superior to the ordinary run of maidservants. Negotiations 
for her return were subsequently opened, Pepys bribing his wife with 
a gown at 15s. a yard ' to incline her to have Mercer again ' ; and a 
treaty in the following terms was finally arranged between husband 
and wife (September 28, 1666) : 

Lay long in bed, and am come to an agreement with my wife to have Mercer 
again, on condition she may learn this winter two months to dance, and she 
promises me she will endeavour to learn to sing, and all this I am willing 
enough to. 

Mercer herself, however, was not disposed to return, notwith- 
standing her mother's desire that she should do so, and on the 
12th of October 1666 her place was filled by Barker. But this separa- 
tion did not last long, and friendly intercourse between Mercer and 
her old master and mistress was soon resumed, though on a far more 
natural footing. With all due allowance for the different conditions 
of the period, she was evidently above the status of an ordinary ser- 
vant, and was fully qualified for that of a friend. This position 
she speedily fell into, and became the constant companion of 
Mrs. Pepys, who, in spite of occasional tiffs, evidently enjoyed her 
society. On the 18th of November 1666, a little more than two months 
after her dismissal, Mercer dines with the Pepyses, and from this time 
forth she was a constant visitor and not an infrequent guest at their 
house. On the 24th of February 1667 Mrs. Pepys declares that she 


will not send for Mercer ' to dine with us as heretofore,' on the ground 
of the ill report which she ' hath got by her keeping of company.' 
It may be conceded that Mercer was something of a flirt, but probably 
this resolution was due more to a passing fit of ill- temper or jealousy 
on the part of Mrs. Pepys than to any serious scandal attaching to 
Mercer. It is certain, at any rate, that her resolution was not kept, 
for on the 8th of April 1667 Mercer filled a place in a grand dinner 
party of twelve, where Pepys, with a certain characteristic snobbish- 
ness, brought out all his best plate for the express purpose of annoying 
his guests. 

But Lord ! to see with what envy they looked upon all my fine plate was 
pleasant ; for I made the best show I could, to let them understand me and my 
condition, to take down the pride of Mrs. Clerke, who thinks herself very great. 

Indeed, Mercer seems to have shared most of their amusements, 
theatres, picnics, and other jaunts. Moreover, the old musical 
meetings are revived, with Barker (the new maid) to swell the choir 
a valuable addition according to Pepys. 

On the 2nd of April 1668, Mrs. Pepys goes on a visit to Brampton till 
the 26th of May, and Pepys at once blossoms out into a grass widower 
of the most vigorous growth. His life becomes a round of festivities 
in the company of Mercer, Mrs. Gayet, Mrs. Horsfield, Mrs. Turner, 
and others, and he plainly enjoyed himself hugely. Small wonder, 
however, that Mrs. Pepys, when tales of these junketings came to her 
ears, should take an unsympathetic view of them ; and they certainly 
aggravated her bitterness in the domestic convulsion which darkens 
the last months of the Diary. This is Pepys' account of the situation 
on the 18th of June 1668, after the return of himself, his wife, and 
Deborah Willett (who had then been installed as maid in Barker's 
place) from their tour to Oxford, Bristol, Salisbury, and elsewhere : 

My wife still in a melancholy fusty humour, and crying, and do not tell me 
plainly what it is ; but I by little words find that she hath heard of my going to 
plays, and carrying people abroad every day in her absence. 

He fears that the storm will soon burst ; and it does, Mrs. Pepys 
reproaching him with his selfish devotion to pleasure, and begging, 
with tears, ' that she might go into France, and live there out of 
trouble.' However, peace was patched up in a fashion, and the old 
routine continued outwardly unbroken. Mercer is still constantly in 
their company, and on one occasion (May 29, 1668) she brings a friend 
of her own a Mr. Monteith to sing with them. Pepys was not too 
well pleased with this, possibly from jealousy of Monteith, whom he 
described as ' a swaggering, handsome young gentleman,' contrasting 
him unfavourably with his companion, one Pelham, ' a sober citizen 
merchant.' However, he was obliged, as he tells us, to spend ' all 
this evening till eleven at night singing with them, till I was tired 


of them, because of the swaggering fellow with the base, though the 
girl Mercer did mightily commend him before me.' On the 10th of 
September 1668 Mrs. Pepys abuses her husband violently for staying 
with Mercer in the coach to teach her ' the Larke's song,' while she 
herself is shopping. But this was only a passing displeasure, as on the 
15th of September 1668 Mrs. Pepys, Mercer, Deborah, and W. Hewer 
all go on a visit to Roger Pepys at Cambridge, to see ' Sturbridge 
Fayre.' There is a gap in the Diary between the 29th of September and 
the llth of October, but they must have returned from this visit by 
the latter date, as we find on the 12th of October 1668 that Mrs. Pepys, 
Mercer, W. Hewer, and Deborah go to the King's playhouse ; and at 
this point Mercer disappears from the story. 

It is almost more by inference than from direct information that 
we can gain any general idea of this attractive but elusive figure, 
who entered so largely into the Diarist's life. Her social antecedents 
we know to have been good. Pepys speaks of her (September 8, 
1664) as ' a decayed merchant's daughter.' Nowadays a girl of such 
position would hardly go into service, but it was by no means unusual 
in the seventeenth century, when ' tradesmen of the better sort were 
gentlemen, not only in point of cultivation, but belonging to good 
families ; younger sons of men of position went into trade as a matter 
of course, and did not lose caste in any way by so doing.' 2 

Pepys himself belonged to an old family, the Pepyses of Cottenham 
in Cambridgeshire, and his great-aunt, Paulina, married Sir Sidney 
Montagu, and became the mother of the first Earl of Sandwich. Yet 
Pepys' father, before succeeding to his brother Robert's estate at 
Brampton, followed the trade of a tailor, and young Samuel as a lad 
used to carry parcels to his customers (March 11, 1667). Again, 
' the superior sort of servants were as well educated as their masters, 
and wrote letters at least as well, if not better, spelt and expressed 
than those of their mistresses.' 3 

But we need not go outside the Diary for evidence of the com- 
paratively high social level from which the better servants were 
drawn. Thus Gosnell, as we have seen, was niece to Justice Jiggins. 
Deborah Willett's uncle was a Bristol merchant, ' a sober merchant, 
very good company, and so like one of our sober, wealthy, London 
merchants, as pleased me mightily.' Indeed, her arrival at Bristol 
(June 13, 1668) produced a mild social excitement, many visitors 
coming to see her out of affection to the memory of her mother, who 
had been ' a brave woman mightily beloved among the poor of the 
place.' So, too, in September 1664, after Mercer had been engaged, 
but four days before she came, Pepys records that : 

Mr. Hill came to tell me that he had got a gentlewoman for my wife, one 
Mrs. Ferrabosco, that sings most admirably. I seemed glad of it ; but I hear 
she is too gallant for me, and I am not sorry that I misse her. 

2 Home Life under tlie Stuarts, Introd. vi. 3 Ib. 219. 


Considerations of this kind throw an instructive light on such 
incidents as Mrs. Mercer's party. Pepys was keenly alive to the 
quality of his company, and unless he had recognised the Mercers as 
socially his equals, he certainly would not have betaken himself 
readily to a boisterous romp at the house of his maidservant's mother. 
Of Mercer's appearance we can glean next to nothing. Pepys de- 
scribes her (December 31, 1664) as ' a pretty, modest, quiett mayde ' ; 
and on the 20th of April 1665 we find this entry : ' At noon dined, 
and Mr. Povey by agreement with me (where his boldness with Mercer, 
poor innocent wench, did make both her and me blush).' Whether 
she was dark or fair we know not, but her general appearance must 
have been rather distinguished, for a certain Captain Herbert 
(September 22, 1665) ' did mighty seriously inquire after who was that 
in the black dress with my wife yesterday, and would not believe that 
it was my wife's mayde, Mercer, but it was she.' On one other occasion 
only, so far as I know, is her dress noticed namely, on the 6th of August 
1667, when, on returning to dinner at noon, Pepys finds ' Mrs. Wood, 
formerly Bab Shelden, and our Mercer, who is dressed to-day in a 
paysan dress, that looks mighty pretty.' She was then, of course, 
no longer in service, and perhaps we may assume that while she was 
a member of Pepys' household a decorous black attire veiled the 
well-springs of frolic that lay beneath the surface. We may be certain, 
at all events, that she was simplex munditiis, for Pepys, whose taste 
was most wholesome in this matter, abhorred artificial adornment in 
women. He flies into a rage over his wife's ' white locks,' as he 
scornfully calls the side puffs of fair hair with which she had tricked 
herself out (May 11, 1667). He also detested paint (September 16, 
1667) : ' My wife and Mercer called me to Mrs. Pierce's, by invitation 
to dinner, where I find her painted, which makes me loathe her.' 
There are indications that Mercer always inclined to embonpoint ; 
indeed, on the 28th of October 1667 Pepys ungallantly records that 
she ' grows fat.' But the excellence of her dancing forbids the idea 
that she was in any way clumsy. 

Her musical powers, and, indeed, the general diffusion of musical 
ability among the middle classes, must strike us as remarkable. 
Pepys was continually on the look-out for musical servants, and 
seems to have had little difficulty in obtaining them. Nor was he 
singular in this respect. Sir Kalph Verney, writing from abroad, 
speaks of a maid whose merits and demerits present a peculiar com- 
bination. ' Her two sisters are but Ramping girls, but truly she is a 
civill wench, and plays well of the lute, she is well cladd, and well 
bred, but rawe to serve and full of the itch.' 4 

It is clear that musical proficiency was much commoner in Pepys' 
community than in our own. And this was not unnatural, seeing 
that in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the study of music 
4 Home Life under the Stiiarts, p. 213. 


usually comprised not merely musical notation, but the principles of 
harmony also. In musical execution we doubtless surpass the older 
musicians ; but few ordinary pianists of the present day could play 
from the figured basses which were in regular use in Pepys' time. 
Sir Frederick Bridge tells us that there was then ' a general custom 
of keeping a cittern in a barber's shop, so that the person waiting to 
be shaved could pass the time pleasantly till his turn came.' 5 Such 
a custom could only have arisen in response to a tolerably wide demand. 
It may be that Pepys' own circle was rather exceptionally musical ; 
but he once invites a casual fellow-traveller to sing with him, and the 
readiness with which the invitation is accepted shows that singing 
must have been a common recreation. Mercer's musical accom- 
plishments, therefore, were not singular, and in point of fact it appears 
that they were not above the average. With Pepys it was a passion, 
and there is something rather droll in his unaffected confession 
(February 27, 1667) that ' the wind-musique ' (in The Virgin 
Martyr) ' when the angel comes down is so sweet that it ravished me, 
and, indeed, in a word, did wrap up my soul so that it made me really 
sick, just as I have formerly been when in love with my wife.' And 
for the converse we may turn to the following entry of the 22nd of 
January, 1667 : 

Lord ! how did I please myself to make Betty Turner sing, to see what a 
beast she is as to singing, not knowing how to sing one note in tune ; but, only 
for the experiment, I would not for 40s. hear her sing a tune : worse than my 
wife a thousand times. 

It seems, however, that neither he nor Mercer was a highly trained 
singer, and, like her, he preferred to rely rather on his ear and native 
taste. This he admits (April 12, 1667) : 

I tried my girles Mercer and Barker singly one after another, a single song 
' At dead low ebb, &c.' and I do clearly find that as to manner of singing, the 
latter do much the better, the other thinking herself as I do myself above taking 
pains for a manner of singing, contenting ourselves with the judgment and 
goodness of eare. 

He had learnt harmony, however, and his song, Beauty Retire, is, 
on the whole, good in its contrapuntal construction, and, though 
slightly heavy, is by no means a bad song in itself. 

This community of musical tastes is the pleasantest feature of 
Pepys' intimacy with his pretty maid. Whatever unworthier elements 
he may at times have forced into them, their relations, so far as 
music was concerned, were purely idyllic. Quite an Arcadian charm 
hangs over the merry picnics with his wife, Mercer, and sometimes 
Deborah, to ' Barne Elms,' ' Fox Hall,' ' Morclake,' and elsewhere, 
bright with the beguilement of music, light hearts, and the moon- 
shine in which he delighted, and those quiet evenings of song in the 

5 Samuel Pepys, Lover of Husigue, r 73. 


garden, which he missed so sorely in the troublous days which bring 
the Diary to a close. 

We hear a good deal of Mercer's pretty discourse, but not a single 
remark of hers has been preserved ; and though her talk may well 
have been sprightly, there is no reason to suppose that she was intel- 
lectually brilliant. Probably her charm lay largely in her amiability, 
which, on the whole, was proof against the constant petulance of 
Mrs. Pepys. Moreover, in none of their disputes do we find any 
trace of that unseemly violence which so often appears in Mrs. Pepys' 
altercations with her other servants. Pepys testifies (September 8, 
1664) to her skilfulness in her own business, and except once 
(December 26, 1665), when she wanted to have a servant under 
her, she never seems to have given any trouble. Her chief stumbling- 
block was her taste for getting out, a taste not unknown to modern 
households, and which seems to have been rampant in Pepys' time. 
One of their maids was really a gem in this respect (July 10, 1667) : 

Our girle Mary, whom Payne helped us to . . . did go away declaring that 
she must be where she might earn something one day, and spend it and play 
away the next. 

It is difficult to see how a household could be conducted on these 
principles at all ; but Pepys does not appear to think her conduct 
particularly unusual. Mercer's personal attractiveness probably 
ministered to Pepys' inordinate love of display. His undisguised 
delight in having ' all things mighty rich and handsome about ' him 
may well have been gratified at the adornment of his menage by the 
smart maid whose culture was fully on a level with that of his ordinary 
guests. But apart from this, the mere possession of a maid was an 
accession to his social pretensions which he appreciated keenly. 
Thus, on the first Sunday after Mercer's arrival (September 11, 1664), 
we find : 

Up and to Church in the best manner I have gone a good while, that is to 
say, with my wife, and her woman Mercer, along with us, and Tom, my boy, 
waiting on us. 

And the same feeling is displayed in the account of his visit to Sir 
George Carteret. 

It is, of course, obvious from the Diary that, for a time at any 
rate, Pepys infused considerable warmth into the relations between 
Mercer and himself ; but, none the less, they reveal an unmistakable 
element of restraint which is conspicuously absent from most of his 
attachments. Moreover, he records all his peccadilloes with a frank 
minuteness which makes it certain that no detail of his intimacy 
with her would have been omitted ; and hence the silence of the 
Diary is almost conclusive to show that she filled her somewhat 
perilous position with considerable tact and skill, and emerged from 
it without being seriously compromised. 


Pepys' apologists have no easy task, and it is better to admit 
frankly that no real apology is possible. His irregularities cannot be 
ignored or explained away, but the sternest moralist will be con- 
strained to deal gently with them. Admitting all that can be urged 
against him, the character of the man pleads for lenience, for in 
many respects it is the irresponsible character of a child. We have 
but to consider his puerile squabbles with his wife, his absurd little 
vows of self-denial, and the equally absurd devices by which he 
evaded them ; the childish pleasure which he takes in playing with 
his new watch (May 13, 1665) ; the want of self-control which 
makes him ' throw the trenchers about the room ' in a fit of temper 
because the cloth was crumpled (December 7, 1666) ; and, under 
all, the irresolute nature, which, as he confesses (January 5, 1667), 
makes him ' mighty unready to answer " No " to anything.' He is 
filled with a child-like delight in life which drives him to live for the 
sensations of the moment (January 6, 1667) : 

And so I do really enjoy myself, and understand that if I do not do it now 
I shall not hereafter, it may be, be able to pay for it, or have health to take 
pleasure in it, and so fill myself with vain expectation of pleasure and go 
without it. 

The seduction of the fleeting hour was usually effective to stifle 
not only his moral sense, which was weak, but his religious convic- 
tions, which, in a way, were strong. He is genuinely concerned about 
his wife's leanings to Roman Catholicism, and genuinely pleased to 
find that she will still go to church with him (December 6, 1668). 
His prayers for Divine pardon are apparently sincere, but a repetition 
of the offence is usually treading on their heels. His carefulness in 
religious observance is in curious contrast to his laxity of moral 
restraint, and when the two are jumbled together the effect is rather 
ludicrous. Thus, on the 28th of January 1666 : 

Fast day for the King's death ... it being a little moonshine and fair 
weather, and so into the garden, and, with Mercer, sang till my wife put me in 
mind of its being a fast day ; and so I was sorry for it, and stopped, and home 
to cards awhile, and had opportunity para baiser Mercer several times, and so 
to bed. 

It is certainly difficult to appreciate the principles of an abstinence 
which prohibits music, but is compatible with cards and a somewhat 
practical flirtation. It should not be forgotten, of course, that kissing 
as a mode of salutation was freely practised in Pepys' day, and was 
by no means uncommon even between men. But Pepys undoubtedly 
took a generous view of his privileges where women were concerned. 
He seems to have recognised this himself, and to have tried to restrain 
his inclinations by the frail curb of a vow. There is an amusing entry 
as to this on the 3rd of February, 1664 : 

Thence, being invited to my Uncle Wight's, where the Wights all dined ; 


and, among the others, pretty Mrs. Margaret, who indeed is a very pretty lady ; 
and though by my vowe it costs me 12d. a kiss after the first, yet I did adven- 
ture upon a couple. 

But though a keen lover of pleasure, he was no mere voluptuary. 
Every branch of literature, science, and art was full of interest to him, 
and the value of his work at the Admiralty is beyond dispute. Sir 
Frederick Bridge justly reminds us that Pepys was a young man 
twenty-seven to thirty-six during the period covered by the Diary, 
but in other respects I fear that his apology breaks down. His plea 
that the closing words of the Diary show a genuine repentance on the 
part of the Diarist is altogether untenable, for the premisses are based 
on a misquotation of the passage in question, and the conclusion is 
contradicted by an entry a few lines above it. 

No, Pepys must be taken as we find him ; and we find him with 
many a fault that no kindness can conceal, but even in his faults 
intensely human, intensely alive, and withal ' mighty merry.' 

But to return to Mercer. Her story has rather a special interest 
for us in these latter days, when there is a certain demand for a repeti- 
tion of the experiment which Pepys attempted, and with such small 
success. He tried, as far as circumstances would permit, to treat his 
maidservants as ladies ; and the result was not encouraging. The 
attempt succeeded best with Mercer ; but even in her case it produced 
domestic derangement, and her friendship with the Pepys was evidently 
on a far happier footing after she left their service. In the case of 
her successor, Barker, the experiment failed altogether, as appears 
from her master's own admission on dismissing her (May 13, 1667) : 

I am the more willing to do it to be rid of one that made work and trouble 
in the house, and had not qualities of any honour or pleasure to me or my 
family, but what is a strange thing did always declare to her mistress and others 
that she had rather be put to drudgery and to wash the house than to live as she 
did like a gentlewoman. 

Pepys' mortification is intelligible, but nevertheless the girl's 
instinct was sound. She was unequal to the position to which he 
sought to raise her, and she found the strain of this unnatural eleva- 
tion unbearable. The lesson may usefully be taken to heart by 
ambitious maids of the present day, and the crotchety reformers 
who stimulate their aspirations. It may be doubted whether the 
general culture of our domestic servants is even actually superior to 
that of the servants of the seventeenth century, and relatively to their 
respective periods it is certainly inferior. There was often a real 
equality between the servants of the earlier period and their masters, 
which justified the position to which they frequently attained. But 
where such equality is wanting, no artificial devices can bridge the 
gap. Moreover, life loses in simplicity as time rolls on, and the 
experiment which failed in the seventeenth century can hardly hope 


to succeed in the twentieth. But here retrospect is pleasanter than 
prophecj. Mercer's successors, if any, may safely be left to the 
tender mercies of the future. Mercer herself will remain untouched 
by any of their failures. She is not a striking figure in the Diary, but 
the mere fact that she entered so closely into the life of the famous 
author gives her an interest which cannot be overlooked; and as a side- 
light upon the social life of the times her story is of real value. Slight 
as the sketch of her is, it gives us the impression of a pleasant and 
attractive girl, of considerable culture, with the high spirits of youth 
and some of its indiscretions. But she moves, be it remembered, in 
an environment altogether strange to us, and she is the creature of 
her own age, not ours. 


VOL. LVI No. 330 U 



NOTHING must strike the quiet observer in India so much as the 
marked differences in the typical characters of the people who inhabit 
the continent of India. To most people in England these differences 
merely suggest the broad classification of the native population into 
Hindus and Muhammadans. But to those who have had any per- 
sonal knowledge of the country, difference of creed will very insuffi- 
ciently account for the physical and social differences they have 
observed among the dark or copper-coloured people they have known. 
The Ardin (or cultivator), the Say 1 ad (who claims direct descent from 
the Arabian prophet), the domestic Khansama (or head-butler), and 
the Bhisti (or water-carrier), are all Muhammadans. But in respect 
of every element which goes to constitute the microcosmic man as a 
whole, the Ardin differs as much from each of the other three types as 
each of the latter differs from the others, although all four may be 
Panjabis by birth and Muslims by religion. Again, the Banya (or 
village banker and general grocer), the Mahajan (or city banker), 
the Parohit (or family priest), the Rajput farmer, the domestic Bearer 
(or valet), and the office clerk may all be Hindus, and all born in the 
one province, possibly within a radius of twenty miles, and yet who 
familiar with these types could mistake one for the other, or fail to 
be struck by their essential differences ? The phenomenon is a curious 
one which baffles the ethnologist, the sociologist, and all the other 
scientists or ologists to explain in a satisfactory manner. I do not 
propose in this paper to offer any solution of my own. My object 
is the less ambitious one of trying to present a faithful picture of 
some of the more prominent types I have met, from the point of view 
of one who has spent a lifetime in India, and who has the deepest 
sympathy with the people of that magnificent country. 

Take, for instance, that much abused but very indispensable 
person, the village Banya. Squat, flat-nosed, sharp-eyed, rotund- 
shaped, and generally close-shaven, it is impossible to mistake him 
for anyone else, or anyone else for him. And if his physical personality 
is so well and sharply defined, his intellectual and moral qualities are 
no less so. His capacity for trade may be said to be hereditary ; it 
descended to him from his father, and he will transmit it to his son. 


He deals in everything. He is a vendor of every description of dry 
goods suitable to supply the wants of the community amongst whom 
he lives. He also supplies oil and sowing seeds, drugs and condiments. 
He keeps a small stock of drapery for rustic use. But above all he is 
the village banker and financier, and it is in this role that his presence 
is most felt. He advances money to needy agriculturists and 
nearly all Indian agriculturists are needy on the mere asking, with- 
out security as a rule, and on easy terms as to repayment, on Shylock's 
principle of making the rate of interest cover the risk of an unsecured 
loan. He requires no investigation as to the purposes for which the 
loan is demanded, nor as to the solvency of the borrower, while the 
only record of the transaction that is usually made is an entry in his 
day-book, setting forth the particulars of the loan, which the borrower 
is asked to verify by affixing his mark or seal. The agriculturist 
finds much in this system of trade which suits his tastes ; it is informal, 
it involves no trouble, and it procures him what he wants at his very 
door. And as to repayment, the Banya is indulgent, and what need 
not be faced at once never presents much anxiety to the agriculturist. 
Thus the Banya is left to make up his account at the end of the year, 
to add the interest to the principal, and with perhaps a small further 
advance to the debtor to enable him to purchase sowing seeds, or 
agricultural cattle and implements, the total is carried forward, bearing 
the same rate of interest, and the debtor having merely affixed his 
seal or mark to the entry in token of his admission of its correctness, 
thinks no more about the transaction till the harvest season again 
comes round. Then the Banya has to look alive after his own interests. 
If he is not sharp enough, the debtor steals a march upon him and 
conceals as much of the produce as he can, for be it known that the 
agriculturist of the present day in most parts of India is by no means 
the Peter Simple he is usually represented to be, and is quite capable 
of playing a trick on his creditor if the chance presents itself. It is 
not often, however, that the Banya is found napping, and it is at 
harvest time that he shows his capacity for exacting his full pound of 
flesh. A certain portion of the produce, appertaining to the agri- 
culturist's share, is first set aside to cover the current interest due : 
if the harvest has been a good one, perhaps a further portion is taken 
by him to reduce the principal of the debt, which, as already stated, 
includes the unpaid portion of the original loan, plus previous interest 
up to the date of the last balance ; of the remainder of the produce 
the agriculturist is allowed to retain what is absolutely necessary for 
the wants of his household, and if there is any excess over, the Banya 
appropriates it by a credit in his account at an agreed rate, which, as 
might be expected, is generally favourable to him. At sunset, and 
before the evening meal, the Banya may be seen in his little shop, 
balancing his accounts for the day ; his system is simple a daily entry 
in a single book, or if his transactions are extensive and his trade 

u 2 


prosperous, he adds a ledger and a journal to his series. He is seldom 
found to have recorded a fictitious item, or to have omitted a true 
one, and no beggar ever passes his shop without receiving a farthing's 
worth of doll, or rice, or maize, or other useful staple of food. He 
is usually the husband of a single wife, and, as a rule, he lives in con- 
nubial happiness. The Banya seldom plays the part of a gay Lothario, 
and when he does he generally plays it badly and comes to grief. He 
often becomes rich and fattens in the process ; he is rarely poor, and 
never troubles the bankruptcy court. Such is the man who may be 
said to regulate the internal economy of the village system, without 
whom the agriculturist could scarcely exist, for he is dependent upon 
his resources for all his wants, who is a Shylock in one sense and a 
benefactor in another. Contrast him with the well-fed, oil-besmeared, 
opulent and consequential Shoukar or Mahajan (the city banker), 
and you will be disposed to say that he stands in much the same 
relation to the latter as a rabbit to a fox, a terrier to a bull-dog, or 
a weasel to a stoat. Yet both are Hindus, both belong to the third of 
the three great regenerate classes, whose vocation is trade and who 
have a soul to save from the torments of that Hindu hell called put. 
There is a family likeness between them, and the difference upon a 
closer acquaintance may seem only to be one of degree. But that 
may mean a great deal or it may mean next to nothing, according to 
the standard you apply for computing the degree. Speaking generally, 
it may be safely asserted that the difference is at all events a sub- 
stantial one, and in no case could it be said to be microscopic. Look, 
for instance, at the Mahajan clothed in spotless white, with a flat 
turban of the finest muslin artistically arranged to cover his baldness 
or to conceal his one solitary lock of hair, seated in his carriage 
drawn by a pair of fast-trotting greys, as he drives forth to 'eat the 
air ' at the close of a busy day ; and then picture to yourself the squat 
village Banya riding home on his jaded pony, with a bundle of account 
books slung on his back after a troublesome day spent in court suing 
one of his many constituents, and your comment if you know both 
men will be, alike and yet how different ! The difference in truth lies, 
as Teufelsdrockh would say, in the outer garment and not in the 
inner soul. The soul in each case is that of Mr. Isaacs. 

Then let us take another and a widely different type the ordinary 
native clerk in a Government office. He may be a Hindu or he may 
be a Muhammadan, but the former is the more general type. He 
also is a very distinct species, the like of which is not met with out of 
India. He is a skilled penman, his caligraphy is unique, distinguished 
for its regularity, clearness, and superb flourishes. His intellectual 
attainments as a rule are represented by a Middle School Pass Certifi- 
cate, but occasionally he boasts of being a failed First Arts or even a 
failed B.A. In the latter case his ambition is proportionately higher, 
just as his value in the matrimonial market is enhanced. He is an 


indefatigable worker, and his desk has an attraction for him which 
it possesses for no Englishman. He soon makes himself acquainted 
with the rules of his department, and becomes a veritable walking 
compendium of regulations, the terror of officers who have to submit 
returns to his official superior, and the unfailing Mentor of the latter 
in all that concerns the red-tapism of his department. His know- 
ledge of the English language is not generally profound, but his 
vocabulary is astonishingly wide, and he has a particular fancy for 
long words, for uncommon w r ords, and for words having two or more 
meanings, which he usually contrives to use in an unconventional 
sense scarcely sanctioned by Dr. Murray's New English Dictionary. 
His style of epistolary correspondence, when clothed in an English 
garb, presents a wonderful combination of pathos rising to sublimity, 
and bathos descending to the most absurd comicality. It is a style 
which has made the clerk or babu a wide-world celebrity, and which 
perhaps finds its highest literary expression in a Biography of Mr. 
Justice Onocool Mukerji, which was published at Calcutta a few 
years ago. But the babu's knowledge of English and his magnilo- 
quent style are merely some of his ' outside accomplishments.' The 
real man is an official product ; he is made up of red tape, and when 
he has run his earthly career, and his ashes have been collected, we 
feel sure that his soul would rest in peace if they could be put away 
in an official envelope, neatly tied with red tape, and sealed with the 
Government of India seal in red sealing-wax, bearing an outside 
inscription, written in a large official handwriting, ' To the memory 
of Bindrabun Babu' 

The Grasscutter may be taken to be a third type. His vocation 
is to supply grass for his master's horse, which he cuts with a small 
hand-scythe, and carries home on his head. He is the worst paid 
servant in an Anglo-Indian's establishment, and he is usually in 
possession of the most ready money. This may read paradoxical, 
but it is nevertheless true. To say he is frugal is only to express a 
half truth, for his frugality reaches a point which Hobson is reputed 
to have attempted in regard to his horse, and failed to achieve. His 
bodily sustenance is supplied by a single meal, which consists of a 
piceworth of your horse's grain, followed by a copious drink of cold 
water. That his liver and his spleen do not thrive under such a dietary 
has been proved by many a post-mortem examination, but his purse 
is largely increased by his self-denial. His savings are lent out to 
other servants of the household at a rate averaging 20 per cent. ; 
and thus, while his body becomes more and more emaciated, his ribs 
so prominent that they seem to have no flesh covering, and his liver 
assumes an alarming size, he rejoices to see his hoard of the shining 
metal rapidly increasing. Is the poor creature then nothing but an 
uninteresting, selfish miser, who loves his money more than himself ? 
By no means. In reality it would be difficult to find a human being 


in any part of the world more thoroughly unselfish. He is no miser, 
and he does not love his money for its own sake. The truth is that 
he is self-sacrificing for the sake of others, for the sake of a wife and 
children he has left behind him in a distant home in Oude for his 
class are generally purbiahs, or men who come from the East or for 
parents or brothers or sisters who are dependent upon him for their 
support. To them his savings are regularly remitted, which he 
starves himself to acquire for their sakes. It is needless to add that 
he does not live to an old age, but he is patient and uncomplaining ; 
and when at last his body can no longer supply a habitation for his 
soul, he passes away peacefully, no one perhaps knowing that he has 
solved the mystery of humanity until the coachman or groom goes 
to his hut to discover the cause of his non-appearance with his bundle 
of grass, and finds that he has borne his final burden, and that his 
spirit has fled from a body no longer able to give it shelter. Such is 
the Indian grasscutter, and where is the land that can give a duplicate 
of the type ? 

Let us turn for our next example to the higher ranks of society, 
to the polished courtier whose memory can recall the last flickering 
gleams of an expiring empire anterior to the British, as in the case 
of some still living in the Panjab at Lahore and Delhi for instance. 
He belongs to what is now termed the old school, that is to say, a 
school which was still Oriental in thought and language, and which 
did not ape European customs and manners. Usually well versed 
in Persian literature, and, if a Muhammadan, equally well versed in 
Koranic scripture and tradition, he is always dignified, faultless in 
manners, and, when he is not conversing with a high English official, 
entertaining in conversation. He has always an appropriate apophthegm 
worthy of a Rochefoucauld to illustrate any remark, and he seems 
to carry a complete anthology of the Persian poets in his brain, from 
which he quotes frequently and always aptly. He is unrivalled in 
his dexterity of paying a compliment, and a faux pas is an offence 
which can never be laid at his door. He is as skilful in letting you 
know within ten minutes of his first introduction to you that he is 
the humble descendant of a long line of illustrious ancestors, whose 
merits you may be sure do not suffer at his hands, and a parenthetical 
remark thrown in here and there testifies to the wisdom and loyalty 
of a much revered father or of a universally respected grandfather. 
The most trivial or commonplace remark you may happen to make 
supplies the opportunity to your visitor to enlighten you as to his 
family history. ' That reminds me,' he will begin, ' of a saying of 
my lamented father, who, as you are doubtless aware ' (although he is 
certain you never heard of him, and, for that matter, it may be that 
the poor man had joined his forefathers without experiencing the 

notoriety of fame), ' was a trusted adviser of Maharaja , or a man 

who was constantly consulted in any political difficulty by Lord 


Lawrence, or Sir Henry Lawrence, or Nicholson,' or any other dis- 
tinguished Englishman who had contributed to the making of history, 
and he then rounds off this allusion with a more or less apt quotation, 
which you may take for certain had never come from his father's 
lips. A little later you venture on some casual observation about 
the weather, and behold the grandfather, who had made the varia- 
tions of weather a special study, and was renowned for his scientific 
researches, is made to confirm what you have said. You smile, 
perhaps, not so much at the grandfather's sagacity as at the deftness 
of his son's son, and this is a sufficient indication to your visitor that 
his ancestors have done their duty sufficiently on a first introduction, 
and they are left to slumber in peace in their silent chambers during 
the remainder of the conversation. Indeed, no one can be quicker 
than he is in discerning that a particular topic of conversation has 
gone far enough, and he turns to another with the easy gracefulness 
of a trained diplomatist. The inflectional character of the language 
he habitually employs the Urdu, or Camp language lends itself 
readily to this use, for no other tongue, with the exception perhaps 
of French, is so capable of being handled efficiently for the purposes 
of finesse. We see this pushed to the highest point of vantage when 
our Oriental friend is in the presence of a high English official. Reti- 
cence has then to keep guard on the door of his lips, but the flowers 
of flattery and the lances of veiled question and innuendo throw the 
official frequently off his guard, and as his visitor retires at the end of 
ten minutes, having learnt enough on the point he was interested in 
to supply food for reflection, you may hear the baffled official exclaim ; 
' Curse the fellow, he has got me to say more than I intended.'' The 
picture above drawn is that of the native gentleman of the old school 
as he ordinarily appears on the outer surface of his social relations 
with Englishmen. But below that surface, and concealed by the 
veneer of polished manners, you have a man with the soul of a true 
gentleman, who would scorn to do a mean thing, who is grateful for 
kindness, and who would think no sacrifice too great to help a friend 
in distress. Let the Englishman gain his confidence, let him display 
an interest in what concerns the moral or intellectual progress of 
the natives of India, and no one will be more ready to acknowledge 
his efforts, and to appreciate his public spirit, than the typical native 
gentleman of the old school whom I have endeavoured to describe. 
If we compare him with the product of a later school, permeated with 
Western ideas and the outcome of our English educational system, 
he will lose nothing by the comparison. He will simply remain 
more distinctively the Oriental, softened perhaps as to many of his 
former prejudices by the culture around him, but still Asiatic enough 
to prefer the habits and customs of his forefathers to those of the 
white foreigner, and if the literature of the West is a closed book to 
him, he has at least been diligent in the study of his own, as rich in 


beauty and wisdom, if deficient in scientific breadth and accuracy, 
as that of Europe. In honour, truthfulness, and all else that goes 
to make the gentleman, he is no whit behind his more learned com- 
patriot, for he owes these virtues to Nature, which distributes them 
with no partial hand to her worthy children. 

The native gentlemen of a later school, in whom, as the writer 
was once told by an ardent young Bengal Progressivist, we have to 
look for the product of modern culture, in contradistinction, as he 
put it, to the relics of barbarism represented by the survivors of the 
older school, must be divided into two classes, if we would wish to 
be just to them. There is the native gentleman who has derived 
all the advantage within his reach from a thorough English education, 
and who has still remained true to his racial instincts ; and there is 
the other type who has undergone the same educational training, 
but has become a transformed being, his faith broken, his manners 
changed, his aspirations turned into a different channel, who is neither 
native nor European, outcast by his own countrymen, and either 
not admitted into or at least merely tolerated by English society, 
a mere hybrid product of the forcing-house of our present educational 
system. The former, it must be confessed, is not frequently met 
with, and will probably become extinct in another generation. But 
where he is found he is a man whom it is a privilege to know. His 
education has cleared his vision and widened his understanding, 
while his strength of character has enabled him to withstand the 
temptation of being anything but what he is, and what he is proud 
to be, a Hindu or a Muhammadan gentleman as the case may be. 
He represents the transition stage between the old and the new order 
of things, and as in the ordinary course of nature the former must 
give place to the latter, he cannot unfortunately be regarded as a 
permanent type of native character. He has already reached as it 
were the vanishing-point at which the slightest forward movement 
leaves nothing but the wreckage of the past behind it. He stands 
like the Colossus of Rhodes with one foot on one shore, representing 
the East with all its mystic lore and glorious tints of approaching 
sunset, while with the other he seeks a foothold on the opposite shore, 
representing the West with all its new learning and the dazzling 
brightness of the rising sun heralding a new-born day. He manfully 
bridges for the time being the gulf between the two streams of the 
Past and the Present, but as that gulf widens with the increasing 
waters of the stream of time, the alternatives are retreat or advance. 
To retreat would be to surrender to the spirit of retrogression ; to 
advance, to uphold the cause of progress and enlightenment ; and 
who can doubt in such a contest to which side the voice of the rising 
generation would be given ? Regretfully turning away, therefore, 
from this first type of the new school, we experience something like 
a shock when we come to consider the second. For the most part 


we find that it represents inordinate vanity, overweening self-con- 
fidence, and the arrogant assumption that all the rest of the world 
are fools ; the past which has its invaluable lessons is despised ; while 
customs and habits which had been consecrated by the pious obser- 
vance of centuries are regarded as ' relics of barbarism.' And if the 
mind has been purged of its barbarism, the body must needs be clothed 
in newer garments. The modest, tight-fitting, black-cloth coat, which 
is always so becoming to a Bengali gentleman, is discarded for the 
latest fashionable Bond Street morning coat, with its mighty tails 
flopping behind like those of a Christy Minstrel's professional cover- 
coat ; the graceful pagri is exchanged for that ugliest of human inven- 
tions, the top-hat ; and the close-fitting trousers of white cloth or 
dark tweed give place to a much looser pair of garments of a broad 
check material, as if the victim of this new craze for European dress 
were being decked out as a standing advertisement for Ogden's Guinea 
Gold. If Burns's kind power would only give the native youths 
who adopt this costume the ' giftie ' to see themselves as others see 
them, it would be one of the greatest boons she could confer upon 
them, for they would most certainly soon revert to their ' cast-aways,' 
and thus save themselves much unnecessary ridicule. In criticising, 
however, these vulnerable points in the make-up of the type we are 
now considering, we must bear in mind that here also we are dealing 
with a state of society in a transition stage, and it behoves us not 
to be too rigorous in our fault finding. To a native youth who sees 
Europe for the first time, it is only natural that his imagination should 
be inflamed by the wondrous vista of what is to him a new world, 
which now stands revealed to his astonished gaze. The sense of 
novelty also bewitches him, and if, yielding to this sense, he exchanges 
his own national costume for that of our country, let us not look 
upon his act as a foolish display of personal vanity, but rather as a 
delicate compliment to our own superior taste, and, as the strange- 
ness of his transformation becomes more familiar to us, perhaps we 
shall find less reason to ridicule him for the choice he has made. So 
also in regard to the other side of his vanity, his overweening self- 
confidence, and his assumption that he knows more than the rest 
of the heads in all Europe combined, we need only to exercise some 
patience and indulgence. Time will accomplish the rest. A few 
years' experience of the world will disillusion him, and he will be 
compelled to recognise the fact, patent already to everyone but him- 
self, that he is neither a genius nor a scholar, that his voice when 
declaiming loudest was vox et prceterea nihil, that the world can get 
on very well without him, and that he is a very commonplace indi- 
vidual whose role is to eke out a modest livelihood, and to teach his 
children to avoid the extravagances of which he has been guilty 
. No set of Indian cameos would be complete without some 


reference to those yellow-legged l guardians of the public peace, the city 
and rural constables. They constitute an important factor in our 
administrative machinery, and be it said to their credit that, taken 
as a whole, they are a very useful body of public servants. The office 
of constable is not the peculiar privilege of any particular class or 
sect, for it is open to all, and there is no lack of keenness to obtain 
it. It is an office which inspires awe if not respect, for it is clothed 
with the majesty of the law, and the law to those who know it not 
is always the symbol of some mysterious authority, which is con- 
nected in the popular mind with punishments and prisons. The 
constable knows it, and he would be more than human if he did not 
encourage the notion. His pay, indeed, is small, too small to keep 
him from the temptations to which he is exposed, and it is made 
still smaller by the many contributions which are officially levied 
from him. But according to the unwritten code which is made up 
of the traditions of his service, this salary has long since come to be 
regarded by the force as a mere retaining fee, which is by no means 
to be considered as representing his legitimate income. On the 
contrary, it is expected to form a very small fraction of that income. 
Such, at least, he is told by his comrades is the well-respected tradi- 
tion of his service. He may be a Hindu, a Muhammadan, or a Sikh, 
but whether he worships at the shrine of Siva, or bows with reverence 
at the name of the prophet of Islam, or joins in the cry of Victory to 
the Guru, his worst enemy must admit that his whole subsequent 
career is regulated by unswerving fidelity to this tradition. It was 
no doubt a similar tradition amongst the Jewish soldiers of the time 
of John the Baptist, who were probably called upon to do many of 
the duties that devolve upon the police under our Indian system, 
which excited the indignation of that unsparing denouncer of evils, 
and compelled him to exhort them to be ' content with their wages, 
to do violence to no man, neither to accuse any falsely ' (Luke iii. 14). 
Indeed, one might almost read the exhortation as if prophetically 
intended to be addressed to the Indian constable of to-day. But 
we fear the soldiers who listened to it paid as little heed to the Baptist's 
words as the Indian constable would be disposed to give to them 
if addressed to him by some pious missionary of the present time. 
He would certainly think, if he did not actually say so, that the 
exhortation showed little knowledge of worldly wisdom, and that it 
was far easier to counsel contentment than to practise it when the 
wages one receives are wholly inadequate to keep the wolf of starva- 
tion from the door. From the underpaid constable's point of view, 
therefore, it is with contentment and moderation as Rochefou- 
cauld says of true love and apparitions, ' Every one talks of them, 
but few persons have seen them.' Such virtues, he is rather inclined 

1 Since the above was written the uniform, 1 believe, has been changed to one of a 
Ttliaki colour. 


to believe, ' lose themselves in self-interest, as rivers lose themselves 
in the sea.' And thus the moral obliquity of supplementing his salary 
by what he would regard as voluntary gifts on the part of those who 
desire his services, may not appear so manifest to him as it does to 
his employers. In accepting such offerings the constable is only 
yielding to a temptation which does not involve very great turpitude 
in his eyes. In fact, as the saying goes, he is merely ' true to his salt,' 
to the salt which imparts a relish to his labours, gives them a sweet 
savour, and incites fresh zeal for the future. Those who wish to 
enlist his good offices, or to conciliate him, or to induce him either 
to see too much or too little, must contribute towards this salt, and 
according to the measure of the contribution his friendly co-operation 
may be relied upon. But for the man who is so dense or absurd as 
to suppose that he can expect the constable to exert himself on his 
behalf with anything like a zealous spirit without such a contribu- 
tion, upon the ridiculous ground that as a taxpayer he has already 
contributed towards the monthly retainer which the constable receives 
from the public funds, the yellow-legged guardian of the public peace 
has nothing but withering scorn and the most profound contempt. 
It is a piece of ungentlemanly behaviour, of gross meanness to which 
he is unaccustomed, and which he cannot be expected to tolerate. 
The recollection of it is written on the tablets of his mind, and never 
ceases to call for signal retribution. He may have to wait his oppor- 
tunity, but in the fulness of time it is sure to come, and when it does, 
the man who has incurred his wrath will have reason to regret that 
in a foolish moment he did not recognise the sacred obligations of 
tradition. The ' moral expiation,' as a French scientific lawyer 2 
would perhaps call it, thus exacted by the constable would serve 
its purpose for the future, and it would soon become known that it 
was after all the best policy for all who had occasion to seek his help 
to contribute with a generous hand to his salt. Can we wonder then 
that, underpaid as the post of a constable is, it is an office which always 
attracts many competitors ? Happily for the community at large, 
the average intelligence of the constable class is distinctly low ; were 
it higher, the danger would be greater. As it is, when he tries his 
hand at any complicated plot he usually fails, and displays his own 
clumsy handiwork. Temerity is his ruin, but a long course of successful 
petty trickery often induces him to tread this dangerous path, which 
eventually leads to detection and the prison door, until at length 
he realises when it is too late the truth of the old Boeotian poet Hesiod's 
famous lines, as rendered by Elton : 

Still in the end shall justice wrong subdue : 
This fools confess, from sore experience true. 

Eossi, Traitt dit, Droit Ptnal, vol. iii. p. 100. 


As we began with one phase of Indian village life, that represented 
by the Banya, so we may conclude with another phase represented 
by that of the farmer or agriculturist. The latter has not perhaps 
any marked peculiarities which differentiate him from those who 
carried on his pursuit in archaic times in other countries, but he is 
a distinctly interesting character who cannot be omitted from any 
album of Indian portraits. He is the same contented, easy-going, 
apathetic, unthrifty creature as of old, who spends most of his time, 
when he has neither crops to watch nor land to plough or sow, smoking 
his hookah or conversing with any person who may chance to meet 
him at the village chowpol, the Boeotian AS'O-^T;, or public resting- 
place, thinking of nothing in particular, and thoroughly enjoying his 
idleness, the very ideal to him of a peaceful life. Frugal in his habits, 
devoid of ambition, the future does not trouble him, and all that 
he demands of the present is sufficient food and raiment to keep 
body and soul together. If the season happens to be a favourable one, 
his farm yields him enough for the support of himself and his family, 
and he needs no more ; if it turns out bad, he resorts to the Banya 
already described and increases his load of debt, and to obtain money 
he is ready to mortgage his land on any terms that are dictated to 
him. If he has sons, some of them are sure to enter the army, which 
until recent years was looked upon as the only other legitimate sphere 
of employment ; but since education has spread under British influence, 
it is not uncommon to find at least one of the sons fired with the 
ambition to become an English scholar, and thereafter to acquire 
fame and fortune as a pleader, a doctor, or a Government official. 
If the farmer has no sons, but a daughter, he marries off the latter and 
induces her husband to settle in the same village, to help him to look 
after his land, on the promise of making him and his issue the ultimate 
heirs to his estate. He and his class supply the true manhood of the 
country, a peaceful and contented population, and a recruiting source 
for our native army. But his want of resourcefulness, his apathy 
and his indolence, bring him frequently into monetary troubles, and 
it is with the laudable object of extricating him from these meshes 
that the British Government has resorted to legislation in the Deckan 
and in the Panjab, which practically deprives him of the power to 
deal with even his own life-estate, and converts him into a modified 
Ward of Court, a position which he is not likely to appreciate. The 
problem how to respect his civil rights and yet to prevent his gradual 
extinction is no doubt a difficult one, but legislation has never been 
known to make a man moral, and it may be doubted whether it will 
succeed in making him provident or a good manager of his estate. 
What would probably meet the exigencies of the situation better 
would be the creation of agricultural banks, of the kind formerly 
proposed for the Deckan, but never introduced. Institutions of this 
kind would enable the needy farmer to obtain money on easy terms, 


secure him against chicanery, and give him the means of tiding over the 
difficulties of a bad year without involving him in a heavy burden 
of debt which he can never hope to repay, as is generally the case 
under the existing system of Banya loans. But to make any such 
scheme a success there must be as little formalism about it as possible. 
The Indian farmer hates trouble, and sooner than subject himself 
to it he would prefer to borrow from the Banya in his village at an 
extortionate rate of interest, which he is also sufficiently shrewd 
enough to know the lender will never be able to recover from him, 
owing to his limited resources, while his land is already well protected 
by the revenue authorities against a forcible sale by mesne process 
issuing from the Civil Courts. Apart from his want of providence, 
his apathy and his idleness, the farmer as we still find him in the 
East, no matter what his creed may be, is a right good fellow. Of 
good physique, he holds himself like a free man ; he is hospitable to the 
stranger ; as a respecter of ancient customs and usages he is generally 
a law-abiding citizen, and he is tolerant, which a long residence in 
a mixed community comprising men of different tribes and religions 
has taught him to be. But he is quick-tempered, and when roused 
is as ready to use his stick as any irate Irishman to brandish his 
shillelagh. Broken heads do not give him much concern or excite his 
sympathy, but he is ready to admit that they must involve a penal 
consequence against those who cause them. He has no fixed standard 
in regard to truth or falsehood, the use of which depends rather on 
his individual ideas of expediency than of any dominating notion of 
right or wrong. He has a certain sense of humour, though naturally 
rustic of its kind, and an insatiable love for fairs and shows. He is 
in short a son of the soil, simple in his habits and tastes, though scarcely 
in the sense in which La Fontaine's nurse spoke of the miscalled French 
Homer, ' that God will not have courage to damn him,' who loves 
the free fresh air of his country life, and who knows no other guide 
to teach him when to plough or when to reap but the stars, the 
constellations, the sun and moon which look down upon him as they 
have looked down upon and guided his ancestors in the past. And 
finally, in his survival we have still before us a state of archaic society 
which has enabled us to correct a misconception of the terms law and 
sanction on the part of publicists who knew not Joseph. 

It has been said by a recent writer in regard to Sicily that ' every- 
where you are haunted by the ghosts of great men or the memories 
of great events or of great and departed nations,' and that you feel 
yourself to be ' a breathing man visiting, like Dante- or Hercules, the 
realms of phantoms.' Well, India too has had her great men in rich 
abundance, and her history is full of memories of great events. But 
no one visiting that land has any such feeling of oppression. The 
shadows of the past are ever tinged with the rays of the bright sun of 
the living present, which has so much to deeply interest us, to attract 


our sympathies, and to enlist our energies. It is the living present 
we must study if we wish to know India, and to realise what a great 
inheritance has fallen to the lot of the present generation of the British 
race. Let no one say that India is only a Land of Regrets, a mere 
place of temporary exile for the white man. To me, at all events, it 
will always be a land associated with the happiest memories and of 
ever-abiding interest, and I would fain express my hope of her future 
destiny, under the aegis of the British Crown, in the words of the 
Mantuan poet : 

Dum juga mentis aper, fluvios dum piscis amabit, 
Dumque thymo pascentur apes, dum rore cicadae, 
Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt. 




MANY years ago the late Lord Bramwell put to me the above ques- 
tion, and we found that on a comparison of our views we were in a 
large agreement as to the answer to be given to it. Some of the 
circumstances of recent months have brought back the discussion to 
my memory, and I have proposed the question from time to time to 
familiar friends, but the answers I have elicited have been very far 
away from what Lord Bramwell and myself agreed upon. It may be 
said at once that we held the utility of gold discoveries to be of such 
a mixed and doubtful character as to justify some feeling of regret 
that they should ever be made ; whilst the friends to whom I have 
recently bruited the question appear for the most part astonished 
that it should be raised, and somewhat scornful of the temper that 
could entertain a doubt as to the benefit mankind derive in the 
opening up of richer deposits of gold. The opinion must, indeed, be 
paradoxical which suggests that it may not be for the benefit of man- 
kind that an object of universal human desire should be obtained 
with less labour. We are accustomed to speak of the fundamental 
principle of free trade that it opens up the way for satisfying the 
wants of men with the least expenditure of toil as containing within 
itself the complete and final proof of its excellence ; and yet here am 
I, a convinced free trader of the most absolute type, questioning the 
advantage of getting with less effort the gold all men desire. It 
seems worth while to examine the matter afresh, and arrive, if we can, 
at some exact statement of the truth about it. 

There is one answer to the question of the use of gold discoveries, 
very common in the streets and markets, which will be promptly set 
aside by everyone who has mastered the primary elements of political 
economy. Can anyone, it is asked, doubt of this utility who realises 
the immense amount of labour that is called into activity by gold 
discoveries ? Miners have to be fed and clothed ; mining machinery 
is made and set up ; there is a great subsidiary employment of carriers 
by sea and land ; industry and commerce both become vigorous, and 
armies of labourers directly and indirectly find occupation and work. 



This attractive picture cannot, however, be accepted as conclusive. 
All that has been here attributed, and rightly attributed, to the 
development of new goldfields would find an exact parallel in the 
influence of a great war, and yet everybody must be conscious that 
from the social and industrial point of view a great war, so far from 
being beneficial, is a great loss to humanity. A war may be neces- 
sary, may be justifiable, its result may be worth its cost, but apart 
from this result all the labour spent upon it is loss, all the industry it 
excites wasteful, and the community that has had to wage it ends by 
being poorer than when it began. The employment of labour for 
labour's sake is the idlest of all schemes for the betterment of labour ; 
otherwise we might find an easy way to the improvement of the well- 
being of our masses by constantly building ships and taking them 
out to sea to be sunk, which, indeed, is one aspect of naval activity. 
The use of gold discoveries must be proved by the use of the gold 
when it is discovered, not by the quantity of labour expended in 
bringing it to market. If it does not, in some sort, help to reproduce 
the sustenance of labour, to keep in vigorous movement the great 
circle of interchanges of products satisfying the ever-recurrent wants 
of human lives, it must be pronounced as little entitled to the merit 
of utility as if no result whatever had been forthcoming. We must 
look, in a word, to the service of gold in the world for an answer to 
the question I have propounded. 

A somewhat fantastic suggestion may be thrown out as a means 
of relieving ourselves from the confusion which enters into our thoughts 
when we dwell upon the labour of getting gold as proof of the utility 
of getting gold. Why not indulge in the theory of the discovery of 
gold without labour ? Suppose a particular man had hit upon a huge 
mass of hidden treasure, the secret of which was known only to him- 
self, but out of which he could, at pleasure, place large stocks of 
bullion to the improvement of his balance at his bankers'. In working 
out such a conception we seem to find a way of facilitating the solu- 
tion of the naked question, What is the use of gold discoveries ? 
and if we added to the hypothesis thus stated the condition that the 
man with the treasure should be one of a limited and isolated com- 
munity a dweller in a new kind of Treasure Island within the borders 
of which the effect of his discoveries would work and their course 
could be traced, we should still further facilitate the segregation 
of the question from confused and disturbing circumstances of 
world-wide extent. After thus working out the problem in little, we 
might lift up the barriers within which we had confined our specula- 
tions, and perhaps come to see, without much difficulty, that the 
movements we had tracked in an island were essentially the same as 
the movements to be followed on the island of the globe. The lover 
of variety may indulge in another fancy to wit, that someone had 
realised the dream of ages and discovered the ' philosopher's stone,' so 


that under a strictly patented process he might transmute the baser 
metals into gold, and thus command boundless wealth. What would 
be the use of the invention to the community of men ? 

The happy possessor of the hidden store, the discoverer of the great 
-secret, would be able to go forth among his fellows and command their 
services or their goods with the certainty that whatever he wanted he 
could get. There might be some haggling about terms, but in the 
end his palace would be built, his chambers furnished to his desire, 
and his banquets supplied with the choicest foods and the best brands. 
He would secure a satiety of his wishes because those who served him 
would have a well-founded confidence that they, too, could be served 
in turn in exchange for the gold they had received from him. As 
long as they could get their subordinated supplies, he would get the 
satisfaction of his primary demands. What would be the situation 
in the end ? If the organisation of the community had been at 
starting one of dynamical equilibrium in which the round of produc- 
tion and consumption had been steadily maintained with no great 
superfluity on the one side or falling off on the other, the introduction 
of the new demand for additional services or additional commodities 
must have occasioned, more or less obviously, a diminution of the 
services and commodities remaining for the rest of the society, or 
else a calling into work of new recruits of production, who would find 
a recompense for their toil in some allotment of the gold which the 
new Midas was putting into circulation. In the absence of this last 
enlistment of new producers, it would appear that the treasure-master 
must get his wants supplied by a diminution in the supply of con- 
sumable things and services distributed through the rest of the 
community, the net result being that though more money was passing, 
and each unit might find his coin receipts increasing, the money in 
his purse could not command the same share as before of the satis- 
factions of life. Even when we entertain the suggestion of newer 
recruits being pressed into activity, we must still confess that the 
absorption by the plutocrat of so much as he separates from the 
common stock for the gratification of the wants of himself and of his 
minions is balanced only by a dissemination of more money through- 
out the community, which of itself adds nothing to the capacity of 
production or the mass of products. If the gold of the treasure-master 
could be made the basis of new industries, or of industries offering 
ampler reward for toil than had been heretofore practised, the whole 
stock produced might have been so enlarged as to yield enough to 
satisfy the man of gold without trenching upon what remained to be 
divided among the rest ; but it is the special characteristic of gold 
that it is comparatively of the least value in the processes of produc- 
tion and reproduction. It is of rare and occasional use in machinery. 
It does not lead to the improvement of machines, or in any practical 
way to their durability, or to the diminution of the labour of making 

VOL. LVI No. 330 X 


them. So far as the metal passes into the arts, it serves almost 
exclusively for purposes of adornment, and its chief employment, the 
employment which is always open to possessors of it, is in the shape 
of money stored and in circulation. 

In my last sentences I may be said to have allowed myself to run 
to the end before I had well surveyed the beginning, but this kind of 
anticipation may enable the reader to go more easily over an argu- 
ment prosaically conducted from circumstances more exactly corre- 
sponding to the actual facts of life. Let us put aside, then, the notion 
of a hidden treasure secretly found, and the other fancy of the dis- 
covery of a philosopher's stone. Let us confine ourselves to the 
hypothesis of an isolated community possessing, among the industries 
that make up the circuit of its employments, that of gold-mining. 
The gold-mines, we will assume, are worked under fairly steady con- 
ditions, yielding annual results which are put upon the market and 
converted into coin, or put to use in the arts and in the decoration 
of life. The problem may be further simplified by supposing that the 
addition thus made to the stock of coin in the community is just 
sufficient to meet the annual wear and tear and loss of gold, and any 
increasing demand that must be satisfied if the unit of coin in circu- 
lation is to maintain a fairly steady relation in exchange for com- 
modities and services which have not themselves undergone changes 
affecting the extent and ease with which they may be respectively 
rendered. A little reflection may lead us to the conclusion that this 
state of things will be realised if, a certain number of mines being 
kept continually working, the normal day's wage of a miner in a mine 
just paying its way, or, in other words, on the margin of profitable 
work, remains the same. This means that the share of gold of the 
working miner that is, the actual amount of gold assigned to him 
is fairly constant, and his real wages must correspond to his money 
wages, since we have assumed that the mining industry maintains 
the same relative position with other industries. All this is by way 
of enabling us to realise the picture of an industrial community in a 
fairly stable and yet healthy course of life. One more circumstance 
may be imagined to give the wavering outline a more definite shape. 
Assume that, in the condition of things we have pictured, the monthly 
wage of the average miner, working at the margin of productive 
mining, is one ounce of gold. What results would be produced if, in 
the circumstances suggested, newer and richer deposits of gold were 
hit upon, yielding bigger weights of gold both for the recompense of 
the workman and the profit of the mine adventurer ? Assume, for a 
time, that the whole produce of this added gold not only passes into 
the currency, as the bulk of it does, but remains also as currency 
and reserves of gold held through the community, putting aside, 
therefore, any consideration of that comparatively small proportion 
which is used up in the arts of life. The men who brought the gold 


to the mints directly, or through their bankers, would have, as has 
been already suggested, a great command in the markets of the com- 
munity, and would be able to acquire not only the means of gratifying 
their instant desires, but investments in funds or the abiding bases of 
industry, so as to secure the enjoyment of permanent incomes. The 
new demand would naturally excite an increase in the scale of prices 
where it was working, and as the money passed from hand to hand 
this increase would spread from commodity to commodity, and from 
occupation to occupation. Much admirable work has been done in 
tracing out the probable course of this movement, and, again, in 
noting statistically its onward flow ; and science has been vindicated 
by the attestation of its speculations in accomplished facts. The 
names of Cairnes and of Jevons must be especially mentioned as 
eminent respectively in this analysis and observation. I do not pur- 
pose to follow on their track, but would rather reach forward to what 
may, I think, be justifiably assumed would be the end ; and for the 
sake of realising this in a more definite and praise shape, I would 
assume, as the final result of richer discoveries, that the normal wage 
of the working miner, working in mines just holding their own, had 
become two ounces of gold per month. Now, as all the gold had been 
used up in currency or in reserves, no lasting effect would be produced 
in altering the ratio of productive effectiveness among the different 
industries of the community. Temporary movements and temporary 
excitement of particular occupations would doubtless have happened, 
but in the end the order of the community would have resettled 
itself in the form from which it started, wages and prices having just 
doubled themselves all round, and what would remain as permanent 
consequences of the change would be that the holders of fixed charges 
and of fixed incomes would find themselves half as rich as before, 
and the people who had had in their pockets or kept at their bankers 
money and money claims would find that these had diminished to 
half their value in buying, and the losses thus suffered would be 
counterbalanced by the gains of permanent debtors including national 
debtors and by the acquisitions of abiding sources of income by those 
who took the earliest occasion of exchanging their newly acquired 
gold for income-yielding properties. As between debtor and creditor, 
it may be argued with much force that it is a benefit to the com- 
munity that the money claims of creditors should diminish in real 
value, and that the burden on debtors should be permanently 
lightened. Creditors are fewer than debtors, and, as the diminution 
in the real value of their property would be gradual, the loss would 
not be severely felt at any moment, and as a generation passed away 
the new generation that followed would, so to speak, be born into a 
less commanding position. On the whole, I should agree that if 
money must rise or fall in value, it is better for a community it should 
fall ; but the ideal condition would be the maintenance of a value in 


money undergoing the least possible change. If change must be, let 
us have a change that favours the working multitude ; but the best 
thing would be no change at all. As for that other range of conse- 
quences, the installation of an enriched class who have got themselves 
well nested whilst the process of rising prices was going on, and whose 
position is counterbalanced by a general fall in the value of money 
in circulation, I confess I can see no gain to the community in this 
change which should make us regard it with any favour. 

I have jumped from one condition of dynamic equilibrium to 
another, the change being that the profitableness of the gold-mining 
in the production of gold has just doubled, a miner getting twice the 
former weight of gold in wages, and the adventurer getting twice his 
former allotment ; and I have assumed that all the additional gold 
produced has passed into the currency and reserves. On these 
hypotheses it would seem that in the end prices would be doubled, 
and the inert possessors of fixed money claims would find their com- 
mand of things and services reduced to one-half. It is assumed that 
additions to the currency would not of themselves affect the relative 
efficiency of industry in its several occupations, and though there 
might be temporary oscillations through the diversity of demands 
made by these coming on the market with new supplies of gold, these 
oscillations would pass away and the old order re-establish itself. 
The mere multiplication of money would have no effect on the effici- 
ency of industrial work. This is a difficulty with many people, and 
it is worth while to examine a little more closely an argument adduced 
by the other side. It is said that if more gold is produced in a country, 
and passes through its mints and its banks into circulation, the im- 
mediate effect is to increase the quantity of money on loan, to 
diminish the rate of interest, and to develop industry which is waiting 
for the advent of cheaper capital to grow larger or to come into exist- 
once. That this is the transitory effect is true, but it is one of those 
effects which are essentially transitory. The cheapness of the new money 
depends upon the fact that prices do not at once respond to the 
affluence of the new supplies, but as these rise the abundance of money 
in the market in relation to the demand for it disappears, until, in 
fact, that second state of dynamic equilibrium would be reached, when 
prices in circulation should conform to the new affluence of the metal, 
when, under the hypothesis of double productivity of mines, there 
would be double prices and double money necessary to maintain the 
same transactions. We come around to the same conclusion that, 
in the absence of independent causes of change in the efficiency of 
industrial production, an increase in the currency produces only 
temporary and transitory consequences. How far is this argument 
modified by the consideration that all the new gold produced does 
not pass into employment as money ? I answer to a very slight 
extent. In the first place, it is admitted by statisticians that only a 


small proportion a fourth seems to be a general estimate passes 
into the arts, and even of this small proportion a certain part is really 
kept as a reserve, as much as if it were coin in a purse or a hoard in 
the strong-rooms of a bank. Of the rest the greater part is used 
exclusively for ornament. It pleases the eye, satisfies the sense of 
possession, tickles the greed of man, but is of the smallest possible 
use in facilitating any reproductive work, in altering to the advan- 
tage of man the relation between human toil and the results of toil 
required for human sustenance. I have heard it suggested that, 
apart from pure ornament, the only use of gold is in dentistry ; but 
perhaps this is a humorous exaggeration of the fact that it is of little 
real service. As a metal, gold would probably be too heavy for 
general employment, even if it became quite common. Miss Kilman- 
segg's golden leg was a pretty whimsical fancy ; but when it is realised 
that, as described by the poet, it would weigh some hundredweights, 
the absurdity of the conception almost ceases to be tolerable. 

For the sake of simplicity, I have imagined a small, self-contained 
community, and an increase of the productivity of gold-mines within 
it ; but the argument is really not changed if we take the world within 
the range of our speculation. The processes of change would be slower, 
and the effects would at least appear to be diminished as they were 
removed from the original centres of disturbance. We may have to 
figure to ourselves the new gold supplies being brought to one country 
and passing from it from country to country, and from race to race, 
in streams only checked by the growing rise of prices, and this rise 
growing most slowly among dim multitudes in the East, less respon- 
sive in thoughts and habits to the changes coming upon them. The 
question, What is the use of gold discoveries ? might thus have to be 
answered by a substitution of alert races for alert individuals, and of 
slower millions of outsiders for the sluggish majority of the community 
at home. The speculation would remain intrinsically the same. The 
period of resettlement might be longer ; the gain of mankind at large 
could not be rated higher ; the world's benefit would be no more real. 
Perhaps, after all, the one advantage indirectly accruing from gold 
discoveries, though this cannot be insisted upon with absolute cer- 
tainty, is that they bustle people about the world and cause regions 
to be settled earlier than they would otherwise be filled up. It is a 
speculative point, but, in spite of high authority against me, I must 
think that the attractions of gold led swarms to California that would 
not otherwise have gone, and California has become, in later years, 
a great source of supply of wheat, of fruit, and of wine. So the stream 
of immigration into Australia and New Zealand, Avhich had before 
been slow, became fuller and more rapid through gold discoveries, and 
Australasia has developed into a great exporter of foods and of wool. 
It is said, on the other side, that these great gifts to mankind would 
have been quickly realised in any case, and that gold discoveries only 


turned the more energetic and adventurous of our race on a wrong 
scent ; and it must be observed that if these consequences are to be 
reckoned to the good of gold, they are but accidental consequences, 
since no one supposes that the gold-mines of Klondyke are the pre- 
paration for a teeming agriculture in Alaska. But why waste words 
on these doubtful issues, or, indeed, why raise the inquiry as to the 
use of gold discoveries ? Mankind will run after them, even though 
we could add, to a demonstration that gold was an illusory benefit 
when found, a complete statistical proof that it cost more than it 
was worth in the finding. This last proposition has been often asserted, 
and though it may not be capable of being strictly tested, it is not 
improbably true. Pat the total expenditure on gold-mining in Aus- 
tralia against the total product, and the balance is an adverse one. 
Is there any difficulty in believing this when we know that the industry 
of gold-winning is practised year after year by speculative adven- 
turers at Monte Carlo, although they all know that the bank beats 
them, taken all together ? Men believe in their cleverness and their 
luck, and like to run the chance. All the same, the inquiry Lord 
Bramwell propounded, and which he and I talked over together, is 
worth pursuing, were it only for the inquiry's sake ; and it is still 
more worth pursuing if, when strictly conducted, it leads to a reversal 
of the popular estimate of the world's gain through gold discoveries. 
The exposure of a fallacy is always good, and is yet more good when 
the fallacy has been submissively accepted as the basis of bad states- 
manship and of a bad world policy. 




FOR the past thirty years I have been very closely connected with the 
work of the elementary schools in this country, first as a pupil teacher, 
then as an assistant teacher, then as a head teacher, and finally as a 
member of the London School Board. It will be seen, therefore, 
that I have had exceptional opportunities of watching the problem 
of the physical condition of the working-class children in our great 
towns. Upon the whole matter I have arrived at two very distinct 
conclusions. The first is that a sharp line may be drawn dividing the 
working-class children into those who were never better cared for, 
never better trained physically, and never better looked after gene- 
rally than they are to-day ; and those, on the other hand, who, in the 
matter of nutrition, clothing, housing, and so on, were never worse 
off than they are to-day. 

Speaking broadly, I should say that 80 per cent, of the working- 
class children were never so well off as they are to-day. The influence 
of thirty-three years of compulsory public education, the habits of 
discipline formed in the schools, the physical training given in the 
schools and in the organised games of the playgrounds and playing 
fields, the elevating effect of the school system upon the home, the 
greater pride which working-class parents, as a result of the effect 
of the school system upon the homes, take in their children, par- 
ticularly with regard to cleanliness, clothing, feeding, and so on all 
these things leave me perfectly convinced that four-fifths of the 
working-class children, as I have said, are better off than ever they 

Now, on the other hand, there remain the 20 per cent, on the other 
side of my sharp line. These are probably no worse off than they 
were thirty years ago, though probably in the great cities the need 
for better housing accommodation is more pressing now than it was 
then. But, in a way, the great Education Act of 1870 was a social 
lever which was inserted a little above the base of the social pyramid 
and not absolutely at its bottom. The result has been to raise the 
working-class social fabric above it, and, by contrast, to seem to 



depress the condition of the ' submerged tenth.' What I mean is- 
that there is a sharper contrast between the children of the very poor,, 
the out-of-works, the thriftless, the drunken, and the indifferent oru 
the one hand, and the steady industrious artisan on the other than 
there was thirty years ago. 

As I have said, roughly about 20 per cent, of the working-class 
children are in the most hopeless condition with regard to food, clothing, 
and housing. It seems to me, therefore, that if these also are to 
become wise stewards of the British heritage we should concentrate 
ourselves upon their estate. First of all, with regard to feeding. la 
every big town the children of the slums habitually go to school 
improperly fed. Many of them are not only improperly fed, but the 
food they do get is far too little in quantity. In the hard winter 
season, when the building trades are idle, many again go to school 
either with no food at all, or having only staid their hunger in 
the morning with a crust of dry bread. In sharp frosty weather it 
is a common experience for teachers in the elementary schools of the 
poorer parts of our great towns I have myself often seen it to find 
children suddenly seized with vomiting. This is not so much caused 
by the fact that the stomach is upset as that it has revolted against 
the effect of the cold upon its empty condition. And not only is this 
state of things true of the poorer parts of the big towns. It is true 
also of many of the agricultural villages. Let a visitor to a village 
elementary school look closely at the children. They are in many 
cases flabby and pale. They need more nourishing food. A break- 
fast of ' tea-kettle broth,' a bit of bread and margarine, a bit cf 
bread and treacle, and some abominably poor tea these form the 
three meals daily. 

To go back to the poorer parts of the urban areas, where no doubt 
the problem is most acute, let me say that I have gone very closely 
into this question of the feeding of the poorer children amongst the 
working classes in London during the past ten years. The London 
School Board, I may say, has during the last fifteen years convened 
three special committees, of the last two of which I have been a member. 
The first committee was convened in 1889. It came to the conclusion 
that 43,588, or 12' 8 per cent, of the whole, of the London children came 
to school habitually hungry, and that volunteer agencies existed to 
an extent which enabled them to meet the needs of only half these 
children. The second committee was convened, at my instance, in 
1894. It did little more than arrange for the collection of reliable 
and systematised statistics upon the problem. But the total effect 
of the two committees was to develop and organise to a very substan- 
tial extent volunteer agencies in which both the School Board members, 
school managers, and Board School teachers have all played most 
honourable parts for the purpose of alleviating the distress, particu- 
larly in the winter season. ./. 


The third committee was appointed in 1898. The following is the 
reference : ' That it be referred to the General Purposes Committee 
to consider and report whether any, and what, inquiry can be made 
before next winter as to the number of children attending public 
elementary schools in London who are probably underfed, and how 
far the present voluntary provision for school meals is, or is not, 
effectual.' The majority of this committee, after a very careful 
examination of the question, came to the vital conclusion that voluntary 
effort alone is not sufficient to meet the needs of this problem. It there- 
fore arrived at the following six extremely important proposals : 

(i.) It should be deemed to be part of the duty of any authority by law 
responsible for the compulsory attendance of children at school to ascertain 
what children, if any, come to school in a state unfit to get normal profit by 
the school work whether by reason of underfeeding, physical disability, or 
otherwise and that there should be the necessary inspection for that purpose. 

(ii.) That where it is ascertained that children are sent to school ' underfed ' 
(in the sense defined above) it should be part of the duty of the authority to see 
that they are provided, under proper conditions, with the necessary food, subject 
to the provision contained in clause (vi.). 

(iii.) That existing or future voluntary efforts to that end should be super- 
vised by the authority. 

(iv.) That in so far as such voluntary efforts fail to cover the ground, the 
authority should have the power and the duty to supplement them. 

(v.) That where dinners are provided it is desirable that they should be open 
to all children, and should be paid for by tickets previously obtained, which 
parents should pay for, unless they are reported by the Board's officers to be 
unable by misfortune to find the money ; but in no case should any visible 
distinction be made between paying and non-paying children. 

(vi.) That where the Board's officers report that the underfed condition of 
any child is due to the culpable neglect of a parent (whether by reason of 
drunkenness or other gross misconduct), the Board should have the power and 
the duty to prosecute the parent for cruelty ; and that, in case the offence is 
persisted in, there should be power to deal with the child under the Industrial 
Schools Acts. 

I must point out that this definitely admits the principle of public 
responsibility as a supplement to benevolent effort. A majority of 
the School Board, I may remark, refused to adopt this principle ; and, 
substantially, things remain to-day as they were prior to the calling 
together of this third committee. 

It will, of course, have been gathered that it is my very strong 
view that the time has come when the Local Education Authorities 
under the Education Act of 1902 should be empowered to supplement 
the operations of benevolent societies. I am gratefully appreciative 
of the improvement during recent years in the method and the exten- 
sion of the area of the operations of private effort. But I repeat; 
that I am convinced that the time has come for the community, as a 
whole, to recognise some obligation in respect of the physical condition 
of the children. I do not advocate what is technically known as 


* free maintenance.' Parents who can should see that their children 
are well clothed, well shod, and well fed ; and the great bulk of them 
will, of course, continue to do this. (Nobody not practically acquainted 
with the daily lives of the working classes can have any real apprecia- 
tion of the sacrifices which parents make for their children.) Those 
who can, and will not, should, in my opinion, be severely punished. 
But the community must step in and prevent the child suffering. It 
is a most short-sighted policy to allow our young to grow up ill-nour- 
ished, and therefore ill-developed. It is grotesque to lavish money on 
education for those who are unfit mentally and physically to receive 
the education offered to them. 

To come to a practical suggestion. Let us schedule the poorer 
part of a great town containing, say, half a dozen elementary schools. 
A school kitchen should be provided, under the direction of a public 
official, for the schools in the area. ' Dinner coupons ' should be 
procurable at a convenient public office, to be paid for or received 
gratuitously by the parents, according to the necessities of the case. 
There would, of course, be absolutely no difference between the style 
of the coupon, whether purchased by the parent or received free. 
Before setting out for school every morning the children would be 
provided with their coupons by their parents, and would go down to 
the dining-hall at midday. The cost of this system should, in my 
opinion, be borne by voluntary contributions, supplemented by public 
aid. This is the system which is in force in many Continental cities, 
and which works with the most excellent results. By-and-by I should 
hope that practically all the parents would avail themselves of these 
midday meals for their children. It would mean a great economy 
of time and money to them, and the meal provided would, in all prob- 
ability, be a good deal more nutritious and satisfying to the children 
than that at present prepared in the home. But this idea of a 
communal meal is, of course, foreign to the English tradition, and 
would be a matter of gradual development. 

If such a scheme as I have herein roughly outlined were put into 
general adoption, the charge upon the public purse would not, I 
believe, be very considerable. (The Municipality of Paris provides 
8,000,000 meals a year for 70,OOOZ., of which 45,OOOZ. comes from the 
rates, 20,OOOZ. from sale of dinner coupons to parents, and the rest 
from voluntary subscriptions.) Many of the parents of the well-to-do 
artisan class would find it a matter of convenience and economy to 
avail themselves of the communal system of feeding their children ; 
and, so far as they are concerned, the thing would be self-supporting. 
For the rest, the continuance of benevolent support would lighten the 
burden upon the public purse. 

I do not propose to weary the reader with any reflections upon 
the pitiable condition of many of the children who attend our schools 
at the present time. Neither do I put into contrast with this deplor- 


able condition the immense improvement in the general physique of 
the children which must follow from the introduction of the system 
here suggested. But I go further than this question of the underfed 
condition of the children. I insist that it is equally essential to our 
future prosperity as a nation to see that no child lacks warm clothing 
and comfortable housing. I hold that the community, as a whole, 
and not the benevolently disposed person only, has a direct duty in 
this matter. I say, too, that the medical examination from time to 
time of the children, especially with regard to the condition of their 
eyes, and, indeed, their general physical state, is a matter of com- 
munal obligation. In contrast to our laisser faire attitude towards 
the children, I may direct attention to the final article in Volume II. 
of the Special Reports on Educational Subjects issued by the Board of 
Education, Whitehall. That article gives a description of what the people 
of Brussels consider to be their duty to the children. From this re- 
markable statement it will be seen that every school child is medically 
examined once every ten days. Its eyes, teeth, ears, and general physi- 
cal condition are overhauled. If it looks weak and puny they give it 
doses of cod-liver oil or some suitable tonic. At midday it gets a 
square meal, thanks to private benevolence assisted by communal 
funds, and the greatest care is taken to see that no child goes ill-shod, 
ill-clad, or ill-fed. 

As a Christian and civilised community, I urge that we cannot 
allow an appreciable section of our youth to slouch through lives 
of suffering and destitution into rickety misshapen and very fre- 
quently evil-minded adults. I cannot blame the social derelicts if 
they ultimately become a ruinously heavy charge upon the public 
purse as inmates of the public workhouses and gaols. Rather do I 
blame the community whose happy-go-lucky lack of concern to-day 
is building up for to-morrow a tremendous burden of financial cost 
and social degradation a burden which I am firmly convinced need 
not in great part exist at all. All this sounds like rank Socialism 
a consideration which doesn't trouble me very much. But as a matter 
of fact it is, in reality, first-class Imperialism. 




OF the many foolish institutions which prevail in modern social life 
iew are productive of more genuine discomfort than the custom of 
making unnecessary presents, i.e. giving, not to supply other people's 
wants, but merely because the donor is animated by friendly feelings 
or at all events wishes to look as if he were. The custom is one of 
great antiquity, for we read in Tacitus that our early German ancestors 
delighted in gifts ; though it is with a slight feeling of shame that 
we read his next sentence, ' but they neither reckon up what they give 
nor consider themselves under an obligation for what they take,' for 
the average Englishman of to-day is certainly not unmindful of his 
own generosity, and is as punctilious in repaying a gift as he is in 
returning a blow. Surely it is time a protest was made against this 
giving for the sake of giving which is about as reasonable a practice 
as talking for the sake of talking for under the cloak of kindness 
there has crept into the world one of the most irritating of social pests ; 
arbitrary in its choice, for it does not let you give to whom you will ; 
mercantile in its essence, for each man is bound both in his own eyes 
and those of the donor to make a fitting return, and maddening in the 
drain it makes on the intellect of the purchaser, who is not merely 
harassed by his ignorance of the other person's tastes, but is genuinely 
anxious to get the best show for his money. 

Doubtless in theory it is a beautiful thing to give, and when one 
is quite young it is a joy to receive, but the system of anniversary 
gifts in vogue nowadays is the very antithesis of ' the quality of 
Mercy,' it blesses neither him that gives nor him that takes ; certainly 
not the donor, for whom, if he does the thing handsomely, a due 
observance of birthdays, weddings, and other occasions to which 
the idle fancy of man has attached the custom of giving, makes up 
a formidable item in his yearly expenditure, as well as an untold 
amount of suffering in the selection of an appropriate offering ; neither 
can the receiver be congratulated on finding himself in possession of 
one more useless article, which is generally quite different from what 
he would himself have chosen, and yet leaves him the debtor of the 
donor till it is repaid. 

For, to be honest, we must admit that we have got down to a system 

1904 GIFTS 313 

of barter ; the man who makes no presents receives none ; if his soul 
craves after them, he has but to cast his bread on his neighbour's 
waters and it is sure to come back to him before many days. The 
cost of his offering, too, will be duly taken into account, as may be 
learnt from the remarks of any wife to any husband over the break- 
fast table ' Why, dear old Harry is going to be married ! We must 
send .him something really good, John ; remember those charming 
teaspoons he sent us.' Whereas had ' dear old Harry ' sent them 
an earthenware teapot they would perhaps have loved him none the 
less, but certainly would not have felt an equal necessity to give him 
* something really good.' 

From an ethical point of view the real objection to making 
presents is that every gift constitutes an infringement of the liberty 
of the subject. If the world really believed that it was more blessed 
to give than to receive, the man who took presents without making 
any would be looked on as a public benefactor ; the fact that he is re- 
garded as a curmudgeon proves that the world looks on a gift as an 
obligation. And yet, despite the ever-increasing difficulty of main- 
taining one's freedom amid the responsibilities of daily life, we wantonly 
add to our brother's burden by binding gifts upon his back. Ere 
the hapless infant can repudiate its responsibilities in articulate speech, 
godparents and friends of the family take advantage of its helplessness 
to thrust upon it christening mugs, spoons and forks, and nest-eggs for 
the savings bank. Thus started on his downward career the child grows 
up to look on presents as his natural right, and to feel a strong sense of 
injustice if the expected tip is not forthcoming. It is not till later on 
that a truer morality begins to assert itself, and he feels uncomfortable 
at the idea of receiving a present, so that often, while his lips are framed 
to grateful words, his inner spirit is murmuring, ' Might have been 
sold for two hundred pence and given to the poor ' ; not that this 
reflection will at all prevent his trying to rid himself of his obligations 
by transferring them, in the shape of fresh presents, to the rising gener- 
ation. However, his friends, perceiving his attitude, grow more con- 
siderate, and forbear to remind him by birthday gifts of his dwindling 
span, though they take an ample vengeance, when he has passed beyond 
all power of protest, by piling his bier with wreaths and crosses. 

I once knew a man who had rendered a service to a lady not remark- 
able for the sweetness of her disposition ; full of gratitude, and know- 
ing his tastes to be peculiar, she begged him to tell her what present 
she might make him as an acknowledgment of his kindness. With 
early Roman simplicity he told her that he had already more books 
than he could read, more clocks than he cared to wind, that knick- 
knacks and ornaments were an abomination to him, and for return 
if any were needed he asked for only such kindly thoughts as she 
could spare from time to time. 

' How very annoying ! ' quoth she. Being a businesslike woman 


she preferred ready-money payments, and would infinitely rather 
have spent ten pounds in cancelling her debt than feel bound, as she 
did, for she was an honourable woman, to try and think well of her 
creditor for the future. However, as he would none of her gifts, she 
diligently ruled both her thoughts and her tongue, so far as he was 
concerned, for a whole six months a period unprecedented at the 
end of which time the man, to her great relief, gave her some ground 
for offence, so that she felt herself entitled to resume her normal 
attitude towards him. But the man, being one of those who believe 
that thoughts are the only real things in the world, felt that for six 
months, at all events, both he and she had been better for his refusal 
to take her present. 

For this is the pity of it, that gifts which should be the accom- 
paniment of kindness are too often made the substitute for it. What 
is the readiest way in which a ' self-respecting ' husband can atone 
for some act of injustice or neglect done to his wife ? Lacking courage 
to own himself in the wrong, fearful of losing his dignity by any act 
of self-abasement, any acknowledgment of her even temporary superi- 
ority, my lord struts into a shop and buys her a ring or a trinket on 
his way home, feeling with a complaisant smile that, whatever his own 
shortcomings, he has retrieved the situation. And so the pretty patch 
is laid over the wound, both sides have maintained their dignity and 
there has been no scene and yet, does the better kind of woman 
quite forget that the wound is there all the same ? 

Of course, in giving, as in all else under Heaven, it is not the custom, 
but the abuse of the custom, that is pernicious. Few things are more 
delightful than to give to a friend what he has long wanted, but been 
too busy or too poor to get for himself, especially if the gift be some- 
thing which our own hands have made, for this, as Emerson says, is 
to give a part of ourselves. And herein lies not the least blessing of 
poverty. The rich man gives by putting his hand in his pocket ; in a 
glow of after-lunch benevolence he strolls down Bond Street and looks 
in a shop window for something pretty ; the gift will cost him nothing 
but the trouble of selecting it, for he has all he wants and a balance 
to be got rid of somehow and so he gives. But the poor man can 
only give by depriving himself of something ; every sovereign spent 
in one way means retrenchment in another a fact so obvious that 
most decent people feel uncomfortable when they get presents from 
those poorer than themselves and so, often enough, the only gift the 
poor man can offer is his service or the work of his hands ; and blessed 
is he if he have skill enough to make anything which will please. 

For presents, alas ! whether bought or made, do not always give 
pleasure. People are very variously gifted in the matter of taste, as 
a comparison of the interiors of any six consecutive houses will prove, 
and the gift which the donor in his secret soul deems charming may 
appear to the recipient an atrocity to be thrust into the farthest corner 

1904 GIFTS 315 

of the back drawing-room till the happy day when the clumsily plied 
broom or duster shall shatter it out of existence. So fully conscious 
are the benevolent of their own deficiencies of taste that they have 
foisted upon the world a proverb of their own manufacture, forbidding 
one to look a gift horse in the mouth ; under cover of which venerable 
absurdity they feel secure from the resentment which their presents 
are too often calculated to inspire. What house in the land has not 
its sad list of such votive offerings ? Costly for the most part for 
money and taste are often in inverse ratio but too often blatant, 
glaring, hideous, an offence to the eye, an oppression to the spirit. 
For, alack ! people will not give things of which they know the merits. 
When a tinker gives kettles or a tailor clothes we are at least justified 
in assuming that the kettles and the clothes are good of their kind, 
but when the ordinary man tries, without special knowledge, to add 
to your collection of prints or blue china, how thankful you feel after- 
wards that he was not present when his gift arrived. 

If the making of presents really were what its devotees assert it 
to be viz. a tangible proof of goodwill, no one ought to be anything 
but pleased at receiving one ; and yet were I, in an outburst of bene- 
volence, to send presents to all the people who live in my street, they 
would probably think I had nefarious designs on their persons or 
property, or, taking a more charitable view of the case, would enter- 
tain grave doubts of my sanity. For they would recognise that 
giving, like kissing, is perhaps a mark of goodwill, but is undoubtedly 
and always a liberty, and that liberties may not be taken with strangers, 
nor even always with one's intimates. Each man can generally 
divide his world into two classes : those who are so near and dear to 
him that there is no need for him to give them presents, since all that 
he has is theirs for the asking, and those whom he knows so little 
that a gift from him would arouse surprise or possibly resentment. 
There are few people who do not fall naturally into one of these two 
classes, unless, of course, one has allowed oneself to drift into a pro- 
fligate habit of indiscriminate benevolence. 

With regard to the things themselves, too, it is well to bear in mind 
the maxim, ' Let the buyer beware ' ; for only a very limited number 
of articles are looked on as appropriate offerings. In the matter of 
food, for instance, any birds, beasts, or fishes which I have slain with 
my own hand will be accepted by my neighbour as a proof of goodwill ; 
but a leg of mutton or a sweetbread left at his house with my card 
will almost certainly be taken as an insult. Chocolates and sweet- 
meats are, of course, permissible, and even cakes and biscuits of the 
more frivolous kind ; but it would be regarded as a gross breach of 
decorum to offer a friend anything which could appease his hunger 
or sustain his life. At Christmas time, if one may judge from the 
shop windows, there is an extra licence in this respect, the national 
conscience having probably gone so completely off its balance from 


continual reading of the Christmas Carol, that to assail one's friends 
with cheeses and turkeys is looked on as part of the orthodox Saturnalia. 
But, with a few trifling exceptions, the rule holds good that a gift to 
be wholly complimentary must be wholly useless, and that only a 
person entirely devoid of decency will so far insult his friends as to 
offer them any of the necessaries of life. 

As a nation of shopkeepers we no doubt console ourselves for this 
rather remarkable state of things by the reflection that, though the 
system may tell hardly on giver and receiver, though legions of haggard 
women may return home faint from an afternoon of Christmas shopping, 
while husbands and fathers growl as they dive into their depleted 
pockets, still, it is all ' good for trade ' ; for what would become of all 
those shops which exist solely for the sale of the superfluous if the 
present pestilential practice came to an end ? Yet, despite fiscal 
controversies, there are still some old-fashioned people left who look 
on trade as made for man and not man for trade ; who believe that to 
enslave the human race to one of its own creations be it tight-lacing, 
trial by jury, matrimony, democratic government, or what not is 
hardly the way to promote its welfare. These people would suggest 
that this same argument, ' good for trade,' would equally justify the 
manufacture of loaded dice, fraudulent weights and measures, burglars' 
outfits, and many another undesirable product of civilisation. 

But of all foolish conventions, the silliest is that which forbids the 
giving of money. Granted that I know you well enough, I may give 
you anything up to a grand piano or a motor-car, and as a result 
most people find themselves in possession of a small herd of white 
elephants. But if, to save adding to this undesirable menagerie, I 
give you the money direct, all the Englishman mantles in your cheek, 
and, in a voice tremulous with passion, you ask whether I wish to insult 
you. ' Would you pauperise me ? ' you indignantly exclaim, honest 
soul ; not seeing that there is no practical difference between sending 
you, say, the Encyclopaedia Britannica and writing you a cheque 
for But it is not my business to advertise that truly great work. 

It was a good rule that, laid down by the Master of old, * Give to 
him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn 
not away.' The latter precept might perhaps b3 amended by the 
suggestion that without good security one should never lend more 
than one is prepared to give, but the former is wholly admirable. To 
know that one's friend wants a thing constitutes a claim in itself, and 
if his need is so urgent that he stoops to ask, the claim becomes impera- 
tive. But to mark seasons of the year and anniversaries of birthdays 
or weddings by going into a fancy shop and selecting from the thousand 
and one useless articles there displayed something to thrust into the 
expectant maw of one's kinsfolk or acquaintance, who do nob want 
anything in particular, but merely look for a present surely this is 
a poor way of showing one's goodwill ! But it is thus that the rubbish 

1C04 GIFTS 317 

piles up and the housemaid groans as she dusts it, while the owner finds 
himself wondering at times why there should be so heavy a penalty 
for arson. 

Are my friends so bankrupt of ideas that they have no other means 
of showing their goodwill than buying me something at a shop ! Is 
not a kind word or even a cheery smile worth all the burdensome 
knicknacks with which they can load me ? Periodically, too ! as if 
love came in rhythmic spurts like a steam-pump. Nothing for eleven 
months and th?n some horrid costly trinket at Christmas ! Why ? 
Do you love me more on the 25th of December than the 25th of June 
or any other month ? ' What nonsense ! Of course I djn't; but it 
is Christmas ! ' Then, my dear lady, if your gift be due to Christmas 
rather than to me, prithee give it to Santa Claus, or, better still, to 
Dr. Barnardo, and don't make me the safety-valve for your chronic 
outbursts of benevolence. 

The rising generation has a bad lookout in this connection. Every 
nursery is glutted with a perfect shopful of toys dolls waxen, wooden t 
china, rag ; monkeys, pigs, camels, drums, bricks, trains, soldiers, 
musical boxes there is no end of the rubbish. And in the middle 
of it all sits the jaded two-year-old, like Koheleth in the midst of his 
splendour, and, with eye roaming discontentedly over the piled-up 
floor, murmurs out the infantile equivalent for Vanitas vanitatum. I 
once knew a small boy who had ten tin soldiers, which made him entirely 
happy, till an unwise old lady multiplied his stock twentyfold. After 
two days of riotous enjoyment he began to see that his happiness had 
been increased by the multiplication of his possessions, and from that 
moment peace was at an end ; like the daughter of the horse-leech, 
his cry was always ' Give, give,' and but for the fact that in a hasty 
removal the whole of his cherished army was left behind, he would have 
grown up a very discontented infant. As it was he began all over 
again with bits of stick and reels of cotton, and that wonderful faculty 
of ' make-believe,' which is at the bottom of all childish enjoyment, 
and for which the modern toy, complete in every detail, affords no 
scope. The natural child would rather have a shawl with two strings 
tied round it for a neck and a waist than the most artistic, best-dressed 
doll in the world as all who have anything to do with children know 
quite well ; yet, so fettered are they by the senseless custom of giving, 
that they continue to deluge each other's offspring with more toys 
than an infant school could grapple with. 

With such an example at home it is little wonder that the school- 
boy has adopted the evil custom of disturbing the normal relations 
with his master by means of a testimonial at the end of term. It is 
usually the worst boy in the form who originates the idea, probably 
more with the design of mollifying the tyrant for the future than with 
a lively sense of gratitude for his past attentions ; no one likes to 
refuse moral courage is not a strong~pointjwith the average school- 
VOL. LVI No. 330 Y 


boy an d S o their little pocket moneys go to swell Orbilius' stock of 
superfluous inkstands, and divers small minds are profoundly impressed 
with a sense of injustice when later on in the day there comes the usual 
penalty for not knowing the eccentricities of the Irregular Verbs. 

There is no need to refer to public subscriptions and testimonials, 
for such things can hardly be said to come under the head of gifts at 
all any more than the benevolences of the Tudor sovereigns being 
rather the purchase-money paid by each man for the entrance of his 
name on the subscription roll, since nine men out of ten will honestly 
admit that their main anxiety is not to be outdone by their neighbours 
and see their own names followed by a smaller figure as though the 
donation represented the sum at which a man valued himself where- 
fore they invariably want to know what their friends have given 
before putting down their own sum. What a fine thing it would be 
for the Empire if a like spirit of emulation could be roused over pay- 
ment of the King's taxes ! 

If, then, as appears to be the case, giving is either an act of self- 
indulgence or a tax imposed by convention on those who are not 
strongminded enough to resist, is it not time for the formation of an 
Anti-gift League, the members of which shall bind themselves to neither 
give nor take unnecessary presents ? Doubtless it would require some 
moral courage to join at first, for the world has so long confounded 
gifts with goodwill that one who tries to dissociate the two will almost 
certainly be termed niggardly by those who do not understand his 
point of view ; but when it becomes apparent that the members of 
the Lsague have at least their full share of that Will to Help the World, 
which is the prime factor in progress, that they are not less but more 
ready to give all that they have their time, their money, their services 
to those who really need help, probably it will begin to dawn on even 
the most mercantile tha 1 : there are better things in life than the giving 
of gifts^ 




THE high temperature in the physical world, which made last month 
30 great a contrast to most recent Julys, has been accompanied by a 
corresponding increase of heat in politics. No great events occurred 
during the month, and yet there has been a steady exacerbation of 
political conditions which is in itself a serious and noteworthy symptom. 
Patience has evidently reached its limits on both sides, and even 
courtesy the courtesy which wise men invariably show to their 
political opponents seems to be worn threadbare. I am not suffi- 
ciently impartial to be able to decide whether the greater sinners in 
this matter of common courtesy can be found among Unionists or 
Liberals. Both are probably at fault, though I must confess that the 
tone of certain eminent controversialists among my opponents sug- 
gests neither the fine flower of good manners nor the tolerance of 
those who fight for what they believe to be a winning cause. That 
there is an equal degree of bitterness on both sides can hardly be dis- 
puted. The House of Commons during last month provided us with 
more than the average number of ' scenes,' and these scenes raged 
round the most distinguished heads in the assembly. Even the 
Speaker did not wholly escape from these explosions of wrath and 
bitterness, whilst on one occasion the Prime Minister suffered from 
something like a tornado of furious rage on the part of the Opposition. 
It was not an edifying scene that men witnessed when the House 
absolutely refused to allow the head of the Government to speak a 
single audible word. But, edifying or not, it cannot be said that it 
was unprovoked. Mr. Balfour himself is, in the opinion of his friends, 
admirable and delightful in all the walks of life that he adorns. Most 
of his opponents give him credit for being all this in every walk of 
life but one. This, however, happens to be the particular walk in 
which it is their lot to meet him. The brilliant astuteness in Parlia- 
mentary strategy with which he is credited by his effusive admirers 
in his own Party seems, as I have had occasion to remark before, to 
his opponents to be nothing more than the adroitness of the dancer 
on the tight-rope ; and their indignation is increased by the undoubted 

319 Y 2 


success with which his tricks are executed. I am well aware that 
to the orthodox Ministerialist who takes his views day by day 
from the Times, or one of the halfpenny organs of his Party, the 
attitude of the majority of Liberals towards Mr. Balfour seems to be 
the outcome of mere political spite and envy. It is inconceivable to 
these gentlemen that the Prime Minister should ever have done any- 
thing to deserve the criticisms and censures of his opponents, and 
even whilst they are pouring their vitriolic sarcasms upon Lord Rose- 
bery or Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, they are bursting with 
indignation at the audacity of those who venture to disparage Mr. 
Balfour. Fair play is a jewel, and, after all, even a Liberal politician 
is entitled to claim it for himself. Writing from the Liberal point of 
view, I venture to explain the reasons for the bitterness with which 
most Liberals regard the recent performances successful perform- 
ances, I freely admit of the Prime Minister. They are not angry 
merely because he clings to office with an almost desperate tenacity,, 
though they feel both anger and contempt when they consider the 
means which he employs to keep himself in place. Their chief cause 
of complaint against him is that he has employed, and is continuing 
to employ, an authority that came to him in 1900 by something like 
an accident, in order to do violence to the wishes of the country. 
This charge is laughed to scorn by the Ministerial advocates in the 
Press. They pour contempt upon the idea that the bye-elections, 
unexampled as they are, furnish any real index to the opinions of the 
nation, and they snort their ridicule at the notion that Mr. Balfour 
has outrun the mandate of the present Government in his recent 
efforts at legislation. Yet when a politician so deservedly and gene- 
rally respected as Sir Edward Grey accuses the present Government 
of having ' grossly deceived ' the country, one would think that 
Mr. Balfour's friends would be better advised if they were to try to 
defend him instead of sweeping past his accusers with an air of lofty 

What is it that lies at the root of the intense bitterness of the 
Opposition towards the Government at the present moment ? It is 
the fact that the majority which Ministers obtained in 1900, and 
upon the strength of which they are now living, was obtained by 
false pretences. The fact is, of course, denied by the Ministerialist 
apologists, but in denying it they raise a clear issue which demands a 
thorough investigation. No one can dispute the assertion that the 
1900 Parliament was elected upon one issue alone. It was elected 
upon the declaration, which unhappily proved to be unfounded, that 
the war was at an end. Ministers appealed directly to the electors to 
give them a majority in order to enable them to settle satisfactory 
terms of peace. If this had been all, sensible and fair-minded Liberals, 
though they must still have resented the gross injustice of the false- 
hood which represented every Liberal as an enemy of his own country, 

1504 LAST MONTH 321 

.and a friend of his country's enemies, would hardly have been in a 
position to complain of the recent acts of the Administration. But 
this was not all, and no amount of special pleading on the part of the 
Ministerial advocates in the Press can alter the aspect of the crucial 
fact of the 1900 election. This was the declaration, repeated more 
than once by the two most important members of the Government in 
the House of Commons Mr. Balfour and Mr. Chamberlain and 
echoed eagerly by their whole herd of followers, that the issue before 
the electors was confined to that raised by the war, and that all other 
questions were specifically excluded. The words of Mr. Balfour and 
Mr. Chamberlain, in which this position was set forth, have been 
quoted so often that I need not quote them again here. They are so 
clear and precise that if they had referred to any other question than 
one of politics, the men who used them would not for a moment have 
dreamed of attempting to repudiate their pledges. But they have 
been repudiated, apparently on the ground that the standard of 
honour in politics is not that which is acknowledged either in private 
life or in ordinary business. Having obtained their majority by 
means of a specific pledge, Ministers have, ever since, deliberately 
disregarded that pledge, and have been content to plead the un- 
doubted fact that they have a majority in the present House of 
Commons as a justification for all their actions. When the terms of 
peace in South Africa were at last settled, and not settled without 
the active assistance of certain members of the Opposition, Mr. Bal- 
f-our and his colleagues went on to carry out a programme of their 
own without the smallest regard for the declarations they had made 
when they appealed to the country in 1900. The Education Act was 
certainly not before the electors in that year ; but this did not hinder 
them from carrying it, in spite of the protests of some of their own 
party, and notoriously in defiance of the wishes of a great body of 
the electorate, many of whom had voted for them on the question of 
the war. We are told, of course, by the Ministerial apologists, that 
it is ridiculous to suppose that a Ministry is to be debarred from 
introducing measures, in the value and virtue of which they believe, 
merely because those measures were not put before the country at a 
General Election. Up to a certain point this contention is unassail- 
able ; but it can hardly be maintained in face of the fact that the 
electors were expressly told by the chief members of the Administra- 
tion that in voting, as they were urged to do, for Ministerial candi- 
dates in the midst of a grave national crisis, they were voting for 
them upon one issue, and upon one issue only. It is still more difficult 
to maintain it when we remember that Liberal electors were appealed 
to for their support on the clear understanding that by voting for 
Ministerialists on the question of the war they would not be regarded 
as abjuring any of their opinions on matters of domestic policy. Yet 
Ministers have acted ever since they obtained a renewal of their 


tenure of office as though the vote of 1900 was given to them as a vote 
in favour of Tory principles in general. 

This, I imagine, is what so cool and moderate a disputant as Sir 
Edward Grey meant when he deliberately charged Ministers with 
having deceived the country. It is this which has done more than> 
anything else to create the almost unexampled bitterness that now 
prevails in the political world, and that led to the painful scene in the 
House last month when the Prime Minister was absolutely refused a 
hearing by the Opposition, and was reduced to the painful humilia- 
tion of having to sit down unheard. The Licensing Bill is, in many 
respects, a more gross violation of the pledges given by Ministers ia 
1900 than the Education Act. There is no question as to its not 
having been before the electors in 1900. There is equally no question 
as to its not having been in the mind of its author, the Prime Minister, 
until the result of the Rye election warned him that his party was in 
danger of losing one of its most valuable assets, the support of the 
licensed victuallers and the brewers. It was brought in, as a matter 
of fact, in order to redeem the promise which he made in a panic- 
stricken moment, in replying to a deputation of those interested in the 
drink traffic. If the Bill had merely fulfilled the promise then giver* 
it would not have been so obnoxious as it was, not only to the Opposi- 
tion, but to all who recognise the fact that our greatest social evil is 
intemperance, and our worst national enemy the liquor monopoly. 
Unfortunately, Mr. Balfour, having undertaken to touch the question) 
raised by the action of magistrates who put the interests of the com- 
munity before those of the licensed victuallers and their over-lords 
the brewers, seized the opportunity of bringing in a Bill which not 
merely dealt with a few cases of undoubted hardship, but sought to- 
put the whole licensing system upon a new footing. Here again he 
forgot altogether the conditions of the 1900 election, and the pledges 
upon the strength of which he and his party had gained their majority. 
He brought in a measure which in its original form would have been an 
effectual bar to any real reform of the licensing system, probably 
for a generation to come. He refused to listen to the appeals made 
to him by the bishops and by many on his own side of the House to 
modify his scheme so far as to enable the community, at some future 
date, to reassert its full power of control over a traffic which every- 
body recognises as furnishing one of the gravest social problems of 
our time. It is not necessary to discuss here the details of the Bill,, 
or the almost criminal recklessness with which it destroyed the greater 
part of the power that the nation, through the magistracy, has hitherto- 
possessed in dealing with licenses. The broad fact remains that it 
gave the license-holders, or, rather, the brewers who hold them in 
bond, something perilously like a practical freehold in their licenses. 
It was hardly a party question which was thus raised. Though the 
licensed victualler is proverbially conservative in opinion, there are 

1904 LAST MONTH 323 

many sincere friends of licensing reform on the Conservative benches. 
The Church, though it has not taken the place which might have been 
hoped for in the struggle against the evils of the present system, has 
again and again attested its devotion to the cause of temperance. 
There were many, therefore, in his own party, who objected to Mr. 
Balfour's proposals, whilst the avowed temperance party in the 
country was roused by them to a fury of indignation. When the 
debates in Committee on the Bill began, a month ago, strenuous 
efforts were made by the reformers on both sides of the House to 
amend the obnoxious measure. There was nothing in the nature of 
what is known as ' obstruction.' Even Mr. Balfour has felt con- 
strained to acknowledge this. Yet before the Bill had been more than 
a day or two in Committee the Prime Minister announced to the 
House that he proposed to force it through by the most drastic of all 
the weapons in the hands of the Government, that which is known as. 
' closure by compartment.' 

There is no more difficult question, and none which an opponent 
of the Ministry of the day finds it harder to deal with, than that of 
the abuse of the closure. Both sides have used it in turn, and I am 
afraid it can hardly be denied that both have abused it. But the ordi- 
nary closure is one thing, and closure by compartment another. The 
classic instance pleaded by Mr. Balfour and his friends in defence of 
his action regarding the Licensing Bill is that of the Home Rule Bill 
of 1893, to which closure by compartment was, in the end, applied 
by Mr. Gladstone. Yet no one who recalls the facts as to the Home 
Rule Bill can fail to perceive that there is no analogy between it and 
the case of the Licensing Bill. The House of Commons pressed 
forward and carried the Home Rule Bill in obedience to a direct 
mandate from the electors of the United Kingdom. Home Rule 
was the question, the only question, that was placed before them in 
1892, and Ministers and their supporters had behind them the voice 
and the opinion of the nation. Who can pretend that this was the 
case with the Licensing Bill ? Not only was it never spoken of or 
thought of at the General Election of 1900, but, as I have shown, it 
was one of those measures expressly excluded from consideration by 
Mr. Balfour himself when he made his appeal to the electors in 1900. 
The Home Rule Bill was opposed by methods of obstruction gross and 
palpable, and carried to lengths never known before, nor was it until 
more days had been spent in Committee upon it than hours had been 
devoted to the Licensing Bill that Mr. Gladstone was constrained to 
adopt the drastic remedy of closure by compartment. To profess 
that his action afforded a fair precedent for that of Mr. Balfour last 
month would be ridiculous. Yet it was on this precedent that Mr. 
Balfour relied when he put a mechanical gag on the debates in Com- 
mittee on the Licensing Bill, and succeeded in forcing it through that 
stage without anything in the nature of adequate discussion. Men 


have blamed the Opposition because, when he rose to move the applica- 
tion of the gag, they refused to allow him to speak, and treated him 
to such open contumely as has hardly fallen to the lot of a Prime 
Minister before. For once his charm of manner and his dexterous 
tactics availed him nothing ; and he succeeded in carrying his resolu- 
tion only by the brute force of his majority the khaki majority of 
1900. I confess that I cannot bring myself to apologise for the 
bitterness displayed by the Opposition on this occasion. Yet, so 
strong is truth, even when crippled and gagged, that Mr. Balfour 
found himself compelled to make one important and far-reaching 
concession to the opponents of the measure whilst it was in Com- 
mittee. This was the provision that at the end of seven years all new 
licenses shall come to an end, and shall only be renewed on such terms 
as the authorities may determine. For some regulation of this kind 
temperance reformers, not of the fanatical class, have been striving 
for years, and it is just possible that, in spite of the liquor trade and of 
Mr. Balfour, a germ of good may be found to exist even in the Licensing 
Bill of 1904. At any rate, it is clear that the licensed victuallers, 
who received it in the first instance with acclamation, are beginning 
to realise the fact that the chief benefits to be derived from it will be 
reaped not by themselves but by the brewers who hold them in bond. 
Whilst war, open and unrelenting, has been the state of things in 
the political world as a whole, it can hardly be said that peace has 
prevailed within the borders of the Ministerial camp. The deposition 
of the Duke of Devonshire from his old place at the head of the Liberal 
Unionist wing of the Ministerial party has been followed by the forma- 
tion of a Unionist Free Trade Club, to which most of the ' men of light 
and leading ' in the Party have somehow or other gravitated. In 
succession to this has come in turn the conversion of the old Liberal- 
Unionist Council into a branch of the Tariff Reform League, under 
the presidency of Mr. Chamberlain. That gentleman, with uncon- 
scious humour, has described his capture of the Party ' machine ' as 
having transformed it from an oligarchy into a republic. Presumably 
his use of the word oligarchy is meant as a sly hit at the Duke of 
Devonshire, whose past services to the Unionist cause do not seem to 
have left any lasting impression upon the men who profited by them, 
and who is now treated with contumely by the writers and politicians 
who were at his feet two years ago. Why the Liberal-Unionist Council 
should have ceased to be an oligarchy, and should have become a 
republic by the installation of Mr. Chamberlain as its president in 
place of the Duke, it is not easy for an outsider to understand. The 
' republic,' however, is clearly even more at the mercy of the Party 
wire-pullers than the ' oligarchy,' and the proceedings on the 14th of 
July, when the Liberal Unionists met to transfer their allegiance from 
mere Unionism to Unionism plus the taxes upon food, furnished a 
brilliant triumph for the dexterous manipulation of the machine. 

1904 LAST MONTH 325 

That same 14th of July had been looked forward to by many persons 
as a day big with the fate of the Ministerial party. The new republic 
had announced, through its organs in the Press, the fact that several 
members of the Cabinet, including the Marquis of Lansdowne and 
Lord Selborne, had given their adhesion to its principles, and Free 
Traders not unnaturally asked if those who had remained faithful to 
their cause within the Ministerial ranks were going to stand this. 
Mr. Balfour has kept his party together and has succeeded in remaining 
in office by the adoption of two ingenious devices first, the promul- 
gation by himself of a policy so nebulous that nobody could really 
say what it meant ; and, secondly, the declaration by his official 
spokesmen in the House of Commons that, whatever else they might: 
think, Ministers were opposed to the taxing of food or raw materials. 
The Liberal-Unionist Council had, however, adopted a policy which 
included this desperate Protectionist device, and Lord Lansdowne 
and Lord Selborne had not only accepted official positions in its ranks 
with enthusiasm, but had conveyed to its members a warm message 
of sympathy from the Prime Minister himself. In other days, when 
British Governments were supposed not only to know, but to say 
what they meant, and when sitting on the fence was the last accom- 
plishment which men would have thought of attributing to a Premier, 
the situation thus created would have been plain enough to every- 
body. It would have been accepted universally as proof that the 
Cabinet had been converted en masse to the policy of Mr. Chamberlain, 
and that henceforth Protection, unadulterated and unashamed, was 
the avowed policy of the Ministerial party. But in these days, when 
we are invited by the tribune of Birmingham to ' think Imperially,' 
we seem at the same time to have been deprived of the power of think- 
ing clearly, and the Ministerialists are apparently prepared to treat 
even the events of the 14th of July as though they were of no par- 
ticular consequence, committing nobody to any definite policy. Even 
Mr. Chamberlain's speech on the evening of the fateful day does not 
seem to have advanced matters greatly. In the opinion of Liberals 
it was a speech full of acrimonious clap-trap, in which all the stale 
fallacies and exploded hypotheses of last year were repeated with 
magnificent audacity, and the attention of the speaker's audience was 
diverted from his weakness in argument by the bitterness of the 
invective launched against his Liberal and Free Trade opponents. 
Even the Conservative Press did not seem to be pleased with a rhe- 
torical effort which did not carry the cause of the bread tax an inch 
further forward, whilst it is reported that the distinctly bellicose 
attitude of the new President of the Liberal-Unionist Council did not 
impress his followers as it might have been expected to do. Yet with 
one great achievement Mr. Chamberlain is to be credited. He has 
undoubtedly captured the party machine in both its branches 
Unionist and purely Conservative and there is nobody on this side 


of the Atlantic who knows so well as he does how to work such a 
machine for the purpose of securing his own ends. Fortunately, 
however powerful machines may be, they have not in this country as 
yet taken the place of the electorate at large, and if one may judge 
by the bye-elections of last month, the member for West Birmingham 
is as far as ever from having made any impression upon the great mass 
of the electors. Still it would be a mistake for Free Traders to under- 
rate the significance of what he has accomplished, thanks even more 
to the weakness of Mr. Balfour and his colleagues in the Cabinet 
than to his own energy and consummate ability. To all intents and 
purposes he has secured command of the official Party platform, and 
Sir Michael Hicks-Beach and the other convinced Free Traders who 
have ' let " I dare not " wait upon " I would," ' have only themselves 
to thank if their position in their old party has now been made still more 
difficult than it was at midsummer last year. The leader of the Opposi- 
tion has demanded a day for the discussion of a vote of censure on the 
Government, because of its share in the proceedings of the Liberal- 
Unionist Council, and Mr. Balfour, with a curious disregard for estab- 
lished custom, has suggested that a day, or rather half a day, for the 
debate may be found in the first week in August. Possibly Sir Henry 
Campbell-Bannerman might have been better advised if he had left Mr. 
Chamberlain and his new republic to the judgment of sensible Minis- 
terialists. The time is evidently past when votes of censure are likely 
to bring about any serious change in the political situation, whilst the 
mortification of the ' free fooders ' on the Conservative benches, who 
find themselves being swept against their own will towards the Niagara 
of fiscal reform, ought not to need to be stimulated by a Party debate 
and division. But in any case the internal condition of the Ministerial 
party has certainly not been improved by the proceedings of the 
reconstructed Liberal-Unionist Council. 

So far as the Opposition is concerned there is comparatively little 
to record in connection with the story of last month. Once again, 
indeed, it has had to revise its opinion as to the probable date of the 
General Election, and, as it firmly believes, of its return to power. 
Last month Cabinet-making was the favourite amusement on both 
sides of the House of Commons as well as in the Press, and amusing 
to the verge of the grotesque were some of the attempts of our anony- 
mous Warwicks. To-day the toys seem by common consent to have 
been put aside for a more convenient season, for Mr. Balfour sits 
tighter than ever on his precarious perch, and even the young lions 
of Radicalism begin to realise the absurdity of their attempts to puff 
their special favourites of the lobbies and the back benches into places 
in a Cabinet that is certainly not yet in process of formation. The 
only serious domestic event in the history of the Liberal party during 
the month is the attempt that is being made in some quarters to 
identify its policy and fortunes with those of Mr. Redmond and his 

1904 LAST MONTH 327 

party. It is even alleged by some ardent advocates of the Irish 
cause that Unionist Free Traders who are prepared to break away 
from the Ministerial party must not expect to be received into the 
Liberal ranks unless they are prepared to declare themselves Home 
Rulers. The notion is absurd from every point of view, and those 
who promulgate it are clearly incapable of seeing things as they are. 
Apart from the trifling fact that Mr. John Redmond has proclaimed 
a jehad against Lord Rosebery and the whole body of Liberal Imperi- 
alists, apart also from the circumstance that but for the consistent 
help which this gentleman has given the Government upon the very 
questions on which Liberals feel most strongly Mr. Balfour would 
have been defeated some time ago, we have to reckon with the 
undeniable fact that the next Parliament, with its assumed majority 
of Liberals, will have work cut out for it which it must undertake as 
soon as it gains power, and which will be enough and more than enough 
to occupy its whole life-time. The writers who announce that Home 
Rule must be the burning issue at the next General Election, and 
who condemn as opportunists those who think otherwise, are them- 
selves the worst of all opportunists. For the sake of gaining the 
support of Mr. Redmond at the General Election they are prepared 
not only to repel the Unionist Free Traders who desire to join hands 
with them in the battle over the food tax, but to impose upon the 
neck of the next Liberal Government the intolerable and degrading 
yoke of an alliance with that Irish party which strenuously upholds 
the Education Act, approves of the Licensing Bill, and cares nothing 
about Free Trade. Opportunism of this narrow and mischievous 
character is happily repudiated by the common sense of mankind. 

Mr. Arnold-Forster's statement on the subject of Army reform, 
which had been expected with great eagerness by the public at large, 
has not made the impression upon the country which was anticipated. 
This, however, is probably not the fault of the Secretary for War. 
The scheme which he propounded, when he was at last allowed to 
make his belated explanation to the House of Commons, was mani- 
festly the result of a struggle in high quarters and a consequent com- 
promise. Like all compromises, it is disappointing. It is not the 
far-reaching, comprehensive, and statesman-like scheme which Mr. 
Arnold-Forster's friends in both parties had hoped for. Broadly 
stated, the plan he now propounds is one for dividing the Army into 
two portions : one for service abroad, and the other for home defence. 
The Imperial service army is to consist of men enlisted for nine years, 
the home army of men enlisted for two. The home army is apparently 
to provide a reserve, akin to that which served us so well during the 
South African war. We are, however, left in the dark as to the 
attractions which are to be employed in order to induce men to enlist 
in either branch of the service. Nothing could have been more 
deplorable than the description given of the present state of the Army 


by the Secretary for War ; but he has not shown us how, under a 
system of voluntary enlistment, that state is likely to improve, and 
tie Government have resolutely set their face against anything in 
the nature of conscription or compulsory service. The scheme, 
therefore, seems to resolve itself into one for dividing the existing 
army into these two portions, and for reducing the numbers of 
the regular soldiers, the Militia, and the Volunteers. Mr. Arnold- 
Forster did not hide the fact that there are differences of opinion in 
high quarters presumably the Cabinet and the War Office as to 
the merits of his proposals. For the present we know too little of 
the details of his plan to be able to discuss it intelligently ; but it is 
distinctly disappointing to those of us who had hoped that under the 
new Secretary for War we might have seen the accomplishment of a 
really great reform of our Army system. The fault is probably not 
Mr. Arnold-Forster's, who has had to face difficulties hardly to be 
exaggerated, but the result is none the less to be deplored. 

One may pass over in silence such episodes of the month as the 
withdrawal of the Aliens Bill after it had failed to meet the severe 
and prolonged criticism to which it was subjected in the Grand Com- 
mittee ; the grave difference of opinion between Sir Charles Eliot, 
our late Resident in Uganda, and the Foreign Office, regarding which 
we are not yet in possession of Sir Charles Eliot's side of the case ; and 
the unfortunate action taken by Lord Dundonald after his dismissal 
from the command of the local forces in Canada. Far more important 
than any of the questions raised by these incidents have been those 
connected with the progress of the war in the Far East. So far as 
military operations are concerned we are still permitted to get nothing 
more than occasional glimpses of what is going on in Manchuria. The 
Japanese still exhibit an unrivalled skill in keeping the outside world 
in the dark whilst they are working out their own destiny on the field 
of battle. But we know enough to be aware that the course of events 
continues to be uniformly unfavourable to Russia. Great strategical 
advantages have been gained by the Japanese, both in the immediate 
neighbourhood of Port Arthur and further north in the peninsula, 
where the army of General Kuropatkin has clearly been placed in a 
position of grave peril. Great battles have been fought in which the 
advantage seems invariably to have rested with the Japanese, and in 
which the losses of the Russians, at least, have been terrible. But 
the ' fog of war ' still broods over the scene of the great campaign, 
and until it has lifted the criticisms of outsiders are futile. Of closer 
interest to ourselves has been the action of the Russians in the Red 
Sea, where a cruiser of theirs, which passed through the Dardanelles 
as a member of the volunteer fleet, and consequently a non-combatant, 
has not only stopped several mail steamers, English and German, but 
has actually seized one of the vessels of the P. and 0. fleet, the Malacca, 
on the pretext that it was carrying contraband of war. There is no 

1904 LAST MONTH 329 

question as to the right of a belligerent to search a neutral vessel, and 
to capture it, if there is fair reason to suppose that it is carrying con- 
traband for the use of its enemy ; but the question of the Dardanelles 
is one of extreme gravity, and if ships which are to all intents and 
purposes men-of-war, and which ostentatiously assume that character 
as soon as they reach open waters, are to be allowed by the Sultan 
free passage through the Straits, the Treaty of Paris is defied, and this 
country is placed in a serious predicament. Fortunately the firm 
attitude taken up by our own Government and the wise prudence shown 
by the authorities at St. Petersburg have sensibly abated the acute- 
ness of a crisis which might readily have assumed a very serious 
character. But remembering our obligations under our treaty with 
Japan, it is impossible to doubt that a question of the greatest 
gravity has arisen, and that the British Government will be com- 
pelled to take decisive action in one direction or the other. 

One non-political subject of great interest was raised during the 
month by the influential deputation which waited upon the Prime